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- Women in Security
New powers are coming into force allowing councils to issue on-the-spot fines of up to £400 for fly-tippers. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says that it has long called for the system for tackling fly-tippers to be overhauled.
From May 2016, on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued for the first time by council enforcement officers to help tackle small-scale fly-tipping, like dumping items such as pieces of broken furniture, old televisions and mattresses.
The move comes as the cost of clearing up fly-tipping in England has hit nearly £50m, with councils having to deal with almost 900,000 incidents every 12 months. Latest figures show the number of recorded incidents has risen by almost 6 per cent for 2014/15 compared with 2013/14, while the clear-up costs increased by 11 per cent. Councils are carrying out over half a million enforcement actions every year, costing almost £18m.
LGA Environment spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: “At a time when councils face difficult choices about services in the light of reducing budgets, they are having to spend a vast amount each year on tackling litter and fly-tipping. This is money that would be better spent on vital services such as filling potholes and caring for the elderly. Litter and fly-tipping is environmental vandalism – it’s unpleasant, unnecessary and unacceptable.
“The Government has responded to our call for councils to be able to apply Fixed Penalty Notices for small scale fly-tipping – and this is a big step in the right direction. Councils also need a faster and more effective legal system which means fly-tippers are given hard-hitting fines for more serious offences. Local authorities should also be able to recoup all prosecution costs, rather than be left out of pocket.
“Not only does fly-tipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.
“There are a number of additional changes that would help tackle littering and fly-tipping, including sharing more of the responsibility with product producers – such as mattress and chewing gum manufacturers – to contribute to the costs of clear up.”