‘Crackdown on fly-tipping needs to become New Year’s resolution’

Fly tipping on the Braid in Amble last year.
Fly tipping on the Braid in Amble last year.
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Rural landowners association, the CLA, is urging councils to continue a crackdown on fly-tipping throughout 2017.

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, backed a Christmas crackdown on fly-tipping by councils and called on them to make a collective New Year’s resolution to continue the zero-tolerance approach into 2017.

The Local Government Association had said that councils would be using powers to issue fixed penalty notices and seize and destroy vehicles used by offenders as part of a ‘pre-Christmas, zero-tolerance’ nationwide initiative.

The news comes as the cost of clearing up fly-tipping in England has hit nearly £50million, with councils having to deal with almost 900,000 incidents every 12 months.

Dorothy Fairburn, CLA Director North, said: “We receive regular reports from our members of fly-tipping, particularly when their land is located on the fringes of urban areas. The waste involved is not just the occasional bin bag, but large household items, from unwanted sofas to broken washing machines and building materials, even hazardous waste.

“The estimated average cost to rural businesses of this anti-social behaviour is £800 per incident and is a continuing and damaging blight on our countryside. In addition, landowners are liable for any waste that is fly-tipped on their land and can be prosecuted if they do not clear it away, often at considerable cost to their business.

“The crackdown should not just be for the Christmas period, but throughout 2017. This will not only ease the pressure on the public purse, but also on demoralised farmers and landowners who are simply fed up with clearing up somebody else’s waste at their own expense.”

CLA President Ross Murray added that it was imperative the tougher stance of councils was mirrored by the punishments meted out by magistrates courts to fly-tippers.

• Northumberland County Council is looking to introduce a new policy for enforcing environmental offences. To report fly-tipping, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk and click on the link.