Tackling the Scourge of Fly-Tipping
The blight of fly-tipping, often on an industrial scale carried out by organised criminal gangs, continues to blight our community. At a time when councils face very difficult choices about services against a background of reducing budgets, having to spend significant amounts on clearing up fly tips is a waste in every sense of the word. £50million was spent, or rather wasted, on clearing up fly tips last year by local authorities across the country, that’s £50m that could have been spent on social care, repairing our roads or on children’s services.
The picture across London is particularly bad, with 1,000 incidents of fly-tipping being reported daily (364,356 in 2016/17). Top of the list is Enfield with 75,614 incidents followed by Haringey (33,333) and Croydon (24,797). Havering experienced 4,061 incidents by comparison.
As can be seen from the table, it is not a problem unique to Havering, but is both a London and nationwide problem. I think it would be productive for the 32 London Councils to adopt a joint approach to the issue, this would help in sharing best practice, intelligence, resources and innovation and avoid having 32 different approaches.
In addition, working together with other organisations, eg Environment Agency, Network Rail, other measures, including CCTV, to tackle fly tipping could be:
- In addition to fines levied on offenders, Councils should be able to recoup ALL prosecution and clear up costs
- Implement powers to confiscate offenders’ vehicles
- Swifter process through the criminal justice system with greater fines and custodial sentences
- Issue driving bans to offenders, as recently handed down by magistrates in Southend who imposed a driving ban of 56 days on an offender
Residents and businesses can help by being wary of anyone offering to dispose of your unwanted items (for example, clearing out a garage) at rock bottom prices, as it is very likely to end up in our lanes of countryside. Always insist on seeing a valid waste carrier licence – it is easily done by visiting https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
There is no simple solution in tackling this scourge, but it does need a concentrated, collective and targeted approach to make a difference.
Cllr Clarence Barrett