TAX payers have been left to pick up the bill after a lorry load of rubbish was dumped at Pitsea Cemetery.

Cemetery officer Terry Simmons arrived at work at 8am yesterday to discover the mountain of garden waste and unwanted household items just yards away from graves.

It is believed the fly-tippers got onto the site through a gap in fencing backing onto the A13, which was removed as part of roadworks.

Mr Simmons said: “We believe there is enough waste to fill a 7.5 tonne lorry, which would probably cost between £300 and £500 to get rid of properly. These people obviously don’t want to pay to dispose of it, but it’s us that are going to have to pick up the cost. We can’t just leave it here.

“This isn’t necessarily shocking because of how much rubbish there is, it’s because of the location. When I first started this job a few years ago I never thought I would see anything like this but nothing surprises me anymore.”

The pile of rubbish contained concrete blocks, bikes and tea towels.

In recent weeks horse manure and even a dead pony were dumped at the cemetery, off Church Road, Pitsea.

Basildon Council are now putting up new fencing in a bid to deter fly-tippers.

Kevin Blake, councillor responsible for leisure and arts, visits the cemetery regularly as his parents are buried there.

He said: “I would like the people who did this to let me know what service they would like me to cut so we can keep paying for their fly-tipping. It’s tax payers money being wasted.

“This is disrespectful to people who go to the cemetery to grieve, whether its for a funeral or to visit a grave.I hope the people responsible never have to experience something like this when they go bury their own loved ones.
“We will look into this thoroughly and I will personally do all I can to ensure those who did this are prosecuted.”

Documents were found in the pile of rubbish which cemetery staff believe could help identify the culprits.

Basildon Council are continuing to investigate the incident.