Council increases fines for littering, graffiti and dog fouling in Northumberland

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Fines for dropping litter in Northumberland have increased to £150 in a bid to keep the county tidy.

New measures introduced by the county council’s cabinet see the typical fine for such an offence increase from £80 to £150 – although that amount would reduce to £100 if paid within seven days.

Failing to comply with the council’s dog control public space protection order – for example failing to clean up after their dog – have also increased from £75 to £100, falling to £80 if paid within seven days.

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Fines for graffiti also increased from £75 to £100, with a discounted rate of £80 if paid within a week. This offence also covered so-called fly posting – the placing of posters, stickers or bills advertising events without the permission of the property owners.

Coun Gordon Stewart on Prudhoe Front Street. Photo: Gordon Stewart.Coun Gordon Stewart on Prudhoe Front Street. Photo: Gordon Stewart.
Coun Gordon Stewart on Prudhoe Front Street. Photo: Gordon Stewart.

The new penalties were agreed as part of an updated fixed penalty notice (FPN) enforcement policy to replace the previous one that dated back to 2017.

A report presented to members of the cabinet explained that new legislation had come in to produce new offences and allow local authorities to increase fines for other offences.

Coun Gordon Stewart, cabinet member for looking after our communities, said: “Councillors throughout the country will receive many complaints about litter. We live in a beautiful part of the world and tourism is a big part of it.

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“I don’t want people going back saying it is a dirty county. It isn’t, but we want to keep it that way. Fines are increasing to the highest level possible at this time.”

The council also introduced a new fine for failing to comply with the duty relating to the transfer of household waste. This would result in a £400 fine, reducing to £300 if paid within seven days.

Elsewhere a fine for failing to nominate key holders in alarm notification areas increased from £75 to £80. However, fines for domestic waste offences fell from £100 to £60.

Council leader Glen Sanderson said the authority was “getting tough” on people who did not “treat the countryside, our roads and our streets with the right amount of respect”.

Coun Stewart also noted that the Government was looking to increase FPNs even further.