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What lies beneath - the hidden hazards of our canals

The cost of clearing our canals and waterways is millions of pounds every year.

In the Kennet and Avon Canal - tyres, shopping trolleys and even mobile phones have been dumped, causing hazards not just for boat users but also impacting on our wildlife.

Here's Kevin Ashford.


Shop owner fined over dumped rubbish

Rubbish left on a street in Gillingham Credit: Medway Council

Rubbish left on the street in Gilingham has led to a kebab shop owner being fined hundreds of pounds.

Jamshed Hasanzada, owner of Top Kebab in Canterbury Street, was prosecuted for not arranging for his waste to be taken away.

Owner of untidy front garden fined

Homeowners fed up with the sight of builders rubbish piling up on their street say they felt like they were living next door to the neighbour from hell. Their complaint against Michael Smith was taken up by the council. They used new rules to take him to court and fine him. But Mr Smith said originally the council told him he was doing nothing wrong by storing the rubbish there and that he had every intention of clearing up in due course. John Ryall talks to Michael Smith and Hastings councillor Peter Chowney.

Highways Agency spends £6m clearing m-way rubbish

The Highways Agency spends six million pounds a year clearing up the crisp packets, drink cans and rubbish that some of us throw out of our cars.

In one year alone the organisation collects enough discarded rubbish fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools, or in Kent and Sussex alone, more than a thousand sacks of litter a month.

Meridian presenter Fred Dinenage spoke to Tim Lyver from the Highways Agency about why the problem has become so bad.


Brighton strike action suspended

A bin strike which led to rubbish bags piling up on the streets of Brighton has been suspended.

Hundreds of members of the GMB union at Brighton and Hove council walked out last week in a row over pay, but a new offer is now being put to workers.

The GMB said industrial action had been suspended for 28 days so workers could be consulted on a new offer.

Mark Turner, the GMB's branch secretary, said:

"We have made significant progress over recent days. The proposal significantly reduces or in some cases eliminates the losses for individual staff members which arose under the previous offer, although there are still some areas that must be addressed."

Southampton's rubbish row could be over

Row between city council and refuse collectors left rubbish uncollected

A dispute which left rubbish rotting on Southampton's streets could soon be resolved.

Trade unions have agreed to end legal and industrial action against Southampton City Council after a deal was reached over pay and conditions. Union members will vote on the settlement in September.

What a lot of rubbish!

Rubbish dumped in Kent Credit: ITV Meridian

Council officers in the South are being forced to deal with more cases of fly-tipping as people try to avoid the costs of recycling by dumping rubbish.

A new survey by the GMB shows that officers in Southampton were called to 8,708 cases of fly-tipping, the highest across the South.

While in Medway the local authority dealt with 3,130 separate incidents including a case where a man dumped builder's rubbish onto the door of a charity shop.

Community Officer at Medway Council Simon Harwood called out to fly tipping in Chatham Credit: ITV Meridian