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Councils could get new powers to crack down on £57m fly-tipping concerns

The government could be about to extend powers to councils allowing them to fine people who use unauthorised disposal companies.

Following a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), authorities would be able to implement direct fines, saving money on court costs and forcing homeowners to look at where their rubbish is being disposed.

The full cost of dealing with more than 1 million incidents of fly-tipping in the last year ran up a bill of more than £57m, according to Defra figures.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s environment spokesman, said the policy would help authorities to focus on other services, like offering help to the homeless and implementing care plans.

“Councils will continue to work with residents to raise awareness of how to correctly dispose of household waste,” Tett added.

“We were pleased the government responded to our call for councils to be able to apply Fixed Penalty Notices to fly-tippers – and this was a big step in the right direction.”

However, he did ask that the government look into the legal system surrounding fly-tipping, giving councils a faster and more effective way to prosecute offenders.

Environment minister Therese Coffey commented: “Waste crime and fly-tipping blight our communities and spoil our countryside and we need determined action to tackle it.

“These new powers for the Environment Agency will curb the rise of waste sites that continue to operate outside the law.

“But we must all take responsibility for our waste to make sure it does not end up in the hands of criminals who wilfully dump it.”

Tougher action needed against litterers

More than 850 illegal dumping grounds were uncovered by the Environment Agency over the past year, with an average of two closed each day, according to the government.

Latest statistics show that some of the worst hit areas include London, which saw over 360,000 fly-tipping incidents last year and the north west of England which saw 128,000 incidents.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “We take tough action against anyone involved in illegal waste activity. Last year, the Environment Agency closed down two illegal waste sites every day.

“We welcome these new powers, which will enable our teams to block access to problem sites, preventing illegal waste building up and becoming more serious.

“This will allow us to take faster action against criminals and will make a real difference to communities, but everyone has a role to play. We all need to check our waste is going to the right place and is handled by the right people.”

Top image: David Brossard

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Councillor B Painton   15/01/2018 at 18:44

this is a great step in the right direction as my ward of Swaythling Southampton is in a bad state at present being targeted by fly tippers it would be good also if the police got more proactive in stopping waste carriers and check there licensensing to carry.

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