Tell on a tipper: SLDC calls for public help after 746 fly-tipping incidents in South Lakeland costing £33k a year (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Tell on a tipper: SLDC calls for public help after 746 fly-tipping incidents in South Lakeland costing £33k a year
FLYTIPPERS are being warned by South Lakeland District Council that they will not be tolerated.
The council is now calling on members of the public to get in touch with information about fly-tipping as it looks to increase the number of people and companies prosecuted.
Figures released by the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that SLDC’s neighbourhood enforcement team received reports of 746 flytipping incidents during 2012/13 – down from 805 in 2011/12.
It also showed that the cost of clearing other people's mess away was £33,362.00.
The incidents led to 782 investigation ‘actions’ and resulted in five prosecutions, five formal cautions, 14 warning letters, three duty of care inspection actions and one statutory notice action.
Four of the prosecutions resulted in fines totalling £750. The fifth ended in a conditional discharge.
The most common type of flytipping in South Lakeland involved household waste, which accounted for 324 of the incidents.
Simon Rowley, the council’s assistant director for neighbourhood services, said: “Flytipping is not only a blight on our local environment, it is illegal and it will not be tolerated in South Lakeland. “I would urge any person or business who thinks flytipping is the easy way of getting rid of their unwanted materials to think again about the impact of their actions on the environment and others.
“I would also warn them that our dedicated neighbourhood enforcement team does everything it can to trace those responsible for flytipping and offenders could end up in court.
“The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment.”
John Barwise, one of the council’s neighbourhood enforcement officers, said: “We leave no stone unturned when we receive a report of flytipping.
“However, we can only do something about the problem if we know about it and we rely on the public to help us by contacting us whenever they see or hear about flytipping.
“We investigate every report thoroughly, gather evidence and ensure the unsightly materials are removed.”
Lakes MP Tim Farron added: "Our area is beautiful, containing two national parks within it and we must do all we can to clamp down on fly tipping. Asking thousands of innocent people to pay for the clear up costs is unacceptable and I will be pushing the government for more action on this. I want to see the authorities given the ability for bigger fines to be levied on people who are fly tipping so that all the costs are recovered from the people who commit the crime and not hard working taxpayers.”
To report flytipping call SLDC’s Customer Contact Centre on 0845 0504434 or the Environment Agency on 0800 807060, providing details of the location and a description of the waste.
The council says if you see a vehicle nearby 'do your best' to get a description and the registration number, but do not put yourself at risk and do not touch the waste in case it contains hazardous or dangerous materials.
Waste should be properly disposed of through a licensed waste carrier registered with the Environment Agency.
You can check if a company is listed by contacting the agency on 08708 506506 or visiting http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
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