RESIDENTS dumping rubbish in Darlington’s alleyways could be handed fines in the coming weeks after a litter-strewn alley was reported to the council.

Council teams were despatched to clean up a large amount of rubbish dumped in the back alley between Harrison Terrace and Trafalgar Terrace following a complaint from nearby resident Amy Lawrence, who was so upset by the mess she took photographs.

She said: ”I think our town is fantastic and that people are too quick to whinge about it. However we are yet again faced with this stinking mess when we opened our backyard door this morning to put the bins out.

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“It’s like this every week. Whoever has done this has even poured a full bucket of paint down the drain, which has now blocked so water won’t have anywhere to run.

“I hope the person who has done this sees this and is ashamed, but I doubt they will care.

“We work hard and pay our rates and put our rubbish out on bin day, but quite often stuff gets dumped in the alley the day after bin day, so it is there all week.

“It saddens me to look at the rubbish – a baby’s cot, a car seat, and other things which look perfectly fine and could probably be used by a charity. The council also come and pick larger items up if you call to ask so there’s really no excuse.”

Miss Lawrence said she wasn’t sure if it was a resident or a fly-tipper from elsewhere using the same place, and said because it was the same area every week she didn’t think it was due to people rifling through the bins.

A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said: “We are aware of this problem. The fly-tip and rubbish have been collected and the gully crew has serviced the drain with t he paint in it.

“Our Enforcement team will be patrolling the area in future and will issue fines as and when appropriate.

“We no longer have the resources to do as much as we used to and are relying on residents to play their part – firstly by not dropping litter or fly-tipping and secondly by picking up litter when they see it on our streets.”

The council works with volunteers, including Darlington Cares, to organise regular litter picks and it now has 50 volunteer “street champions” - litter pickers working throughout the town.

There were 72 prosecutions for litter or flytipping offences in 2016 with an average fine of £143 and costs of £158. Offenders are named and shamed in the council’s magazine.