CLA welcomes purge against fly-tippers

Fly-tipping blights the countryside.

Fly-tipping blights the countryside.

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CLA East has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it intends to honour its manifesto pledge and give councils the power to issue fixed-penalty fines to fly-tippers.

In a response to the Department of Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s report on Litter and Fly-tipping in England, the Government also said it would consider proposals to increase the fines for littering.

It has been reported that fly-tipping incidents in England have risen over the last couple of years, with a Freedom of Information request made by the Press Association revealing there were 529,462 incidents across 201 councils in 2014–15, a rise from 527,777 in 2013–14.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “Fly-tipping is a serious issue for landowners across the whole of the eastern region.

“It blights the countryside and we have called for culprits to be dealt with more robustly for years.

“We welcome the move to allow councils to fine those caught fly-tipping or littering, as this is another step towards a position of zero tolerance on these offences.”

Mr Underwood said he also agreed with the Government’s assessment of the role local authorities needed to play in the fight against fly-tipping.

“There is a recommendation for local councils to consider their own policies, such as charging for items to be taken in at waste recycling centres and the adequacy of the provision of these centres,” he said.

“I wholeheartedly agree with this; there are a multitude of differing factors contributing to the recent rise in fly-tipping, but the number and location of publicly accessible waste sites, their opening times, and what they charge is going to have a fair degree of influence on an individual’s decision to fly-tip or not.

“The report also says that current enforcement practice among local councils varies greatly and we must strive to get some real consistency on approach in order to ensure that we do not create fly-tipping hot-spots.

“Regulations brought into force this year allow enforcement authorities to seize vehicles for a range of offences, including fly-tipping.

“We need these penalties to be rigorously enforced across the eastern region in order to send a message that this anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”