CABINET CALL: By South Holland District Councillor Roger Gambba-Jones
There’s been some media coverage recently about the legal penalties that can be suffered for fly-tipping.
Hopefully people reading the most recent report will have noted that the person fined £1,000 plus and given a criminal record, was an ‘ordinary’ householder.
Why is this detail important you might ask? Well because people might assume that it’s those in the waste disposal industry that fly tip and get caught.
However, a number of our recent prosecutions have been householders who were foolhardy enough to use a man with a van whilst asking no questions.
This cheap option became a very, very expensive one because van man just took their rubbish and dumped it.
Any dumping of rubbish, once reported to the council and confirmed as being on public land, will be carefully checked for any sort of link back to its origin.
The message here is a simple one, don’t take the cheap option as it can very easily become the most expensive and get you a criminal record.
If you need to dispose of rubbish, ask the person you use to confirm that they have a valid waste operator’s licence.
When they arrive to collect it, check their licence, make a note of the details, their full name and registration number.
If you take these steps and your rubbish still ends up in the wrong place, you’re far less likely to end up in trouble.
I share the frustration often expressed about the anti-social behaviour of litter droppers and fly-tippers, however, we are putting resources into tackling these issues.
Evidence of this comes from this recent prosecution and others and the use of fixed penalty notices (FPN).
This last one doesn’t gain media attention, because it doesn’t require court action, but is still a very effective way to make the point. If you put your black or green waste bag out before your normal collection day, this is classed as early presentation and could well earn you a FPN of at least £70, for blighting your neighbourhood.
If you drop litter and that includes cigarette butts, apple cores and banana skins - we’re not prepared to wait for the last two to rot away - and you’re seen doing it, you’ll be issued with a FPN for a minimum of £50.
In the last two years, 16 FPNs for early presentation have been issued, with 12 being paid. Another 14 have been issued for littering, with 12 of these being paid.
Those that were unpaid, were because the offenders became untraceable and trying to find them, would not be a good use of the taxpayers’ money.