South Holland Council has given a staunch defence of its action on tackling the scourge of fly tipping after local authorities were accused of not doing enough.
The Country Landowners Association East (CLA) – which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses – is calling for stronger enforcement of legal action to help prevent fly tipping.
It says government figures showing that in 2015-16 there were more than 100,000 incidents across the eastern region are just the tip of the iceberg.
They claim Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) figures do not reflect the true scale of the crime because increasing reports of fly tipping on private rural land are not included.
DEFRA figures for 2015/16 show there were 599 instances of fly tipping in South Holland.
The CLA has called on local authorities, the Environment Agency and the police to commit to stronger action against the increase of fly tipping on private land by:
• Extending the local government zero tolerance approach to fly tipping to a year-round initiative;
• Ensuring powers to issue fixed penalty notices and/or seize vehicles are used;
• Imposing and enforcing stronger penalties to act as a deterrent;
• Investing time and resources tracking down the culprits;
• Reducing council fees to legally dispose of waste.
The CLA says farmers and landowners can go some way to preventing fly tipped waste on their land by ensuring gates to fields are locked, using CCTV in blackspots and reporting all instances to the local police.
In response to the CLA demands, a council spokesman said it already operates a zero tolerance stance on fly tipping all year, every year.
It uses powers to issue fixed penalty notices and/or seize vehicles wherever possible and also utilises all appropriate legislation available.
The council has a dedicated enforcement officer who regularly provides engagement, communication and action against fly tipping.
It also provides weekly waste collections to all households in the district. The household waste recycling centre also provides free of charge disposal of household waste.
The spokesman added: “We will visit and examine where possible all reported fly tip incidents in an attempt to find evidence to prosecute offenders.
“The public’s assistance is vital and any witness to such offences should report it to either the local Police or SHDC.
“Householders should be aware that persons they employ or instruct to remove any waste must be licenced and details known.
“In 2016 SDHC, following enquiries relating to fly tipping, successfully prosecuted five persons at court with the greatest penalty imposed being £1,730 (including prosecution costs).”