Council hikes fly-tipping fines by 150% in clampdown

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Fines for fly-tipping in Bexley are planned to rise by 150 per cent this summer as the council clamps down on new deterrents against the offence. The authority has announced that fines for fly-tipping in the borough will increase from £400 to a maximum fee of £1,000.

The new limit will come into effect from July 1 and comes after the council reportedly issued nearly 1,500 fines for illegal fly-tipping offences in the past year. The authority also gave out over 950 fines for littering in the same time period.

Conservative Councillor Cameron Smith said at a Bexley Council meeting last November that £232,000 of funding was being used to add 526 new litter bins to the borough. The figure came after Labour Councillor Chris Ball put forward a motion at the meeting asking the council to tackle littering in Bexley, as he said the endemic issue had caused the borough to become ‘grubby’.

Cllr Ball said at the meeting: “In every street, in every park, in every open space on verges and on the sides of roads, the place is filthy. There’s litter, there are weeds… It changes our sense of our place and our wellbeing and that is absolutely evident now in every single part of the borough. Fly-tipping is a nightmare.”

Cllr Smith said in response that the majority of the dumped waste in the borough was due to the actions of a few ‘reckless individuals’. The authority voted to carry Cllr Smith’s amended motion at the meeting, which stated the borough’s gradual decline in recycling rates over recent years was due to bin collection strikes by members of the Unite workers union.

Speaking on the increased fine, Conservative Councillor Richard Diment, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said in a statement on May 24: “Keeping Bexley clean and green is a top priority for the council and we’ve always been clear that we have zero tolerance of fly-tipping and littering and will not hesitate to come down hard on offenders. We want Bexley to be a safer, greener place to live in and an attractive place for visitors and businesses to thrive.”

Bexley Council has stated that the illegal dumping of rubbish on streets and near recycling banks is an offence and could result in a fine or criminal prosecution. The authority also currently issues fines of up to £300 to those caught littering, throwing waste out of their car windows while driving or not cleaning up after their dogs. Residents could also receive a £500 fine if they pay for an unlicensed company to dispose of their waste.

Picture: A pile of fly-tipped waste found in Bexley borough. Credit: Bexley Council


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