Basildon has become the number one dumping ground for abandoned cars in Essex.

The town took the number one spot in the county, with 3,070 reports of cars dumped in the borough for 2016/17, according to

The next closest was Thurrock, which had 800 fewer cases at 2,299.

Kerry Smith, Independent ward councillor for Nethermayne, said the issue surrounded cars being dumped on private land where the onus is on the landowner to get rid of them.

He said: “The problem is those people who have a car and can’t afford to get it taxed or get through an MOT and instead go looking for a piece of land where they can leave it.

“We have a lot of private housing estates in Basildon where this can happen.

“You can look them up on the internet so they’re not hard to find.

“I think that is the reason why Basildon is such a problem.”

According to the figures, Southend had 869 abandoned cars in the borough while Castle Point had 200.

Of those dumped in Basildon, 214 were removed and 212 were destroyed. Basildon Council did not spend any money carrying out the actions.

Andrew Buxton, ward councillor for St Martin’s, said: “I am really shocked. I didn’t think it was anywhere near that bad.

“Could it be down to the scrap metal value going down and people not getting as much? I can remember this happening quite a long time ago where the value dropped and people were dumping their cars by the road.

“We also have a chronic shortage of parking spaces in Basildon.”

Kevin Blake, chairman of the leisure, culture and environment, committee, said: “In 2016/17 we received 3,070 reports of abandoned vehicles, all of which were inspected by council officers. Of these, only 416 were deemed abandoned and removed.

“Basildon Council is committed to using its powers to tackle issues affecting communities including removing dangerous vehicles from the highway, but only where necessary and when they meet certain criteria.

“We understand nuisance vehicles can blight the environment and be a cause of frustration.

“However, the council is unable to remove vehicles which have been claimed by their owners unless they pose a danger to the public.”