Lib Dems disappointed at lack of fly-tipping action

Councillor James Baker
Councillor James Baker

Calderdale Council failed to issue a single fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping despite spending £40,000 investigating incidents in the last year.

The information comes from figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Councillor James Baker (Lib Dem, Warley) the Calderdale Liberal Democrat economy and environment spokesperson said: “Although the council has investigated these incidents and issued warnings it has failed to make a single prosecution or issue a single fine.

“This simply isn’t good enough, and sends out the message that people can blight our landscape and get away with it.

“The Labour-run council needs to do more to tackle this environmental crime”.

The figures show that in 2012-13 there were 1,156 incidents of fly-tipping reported across the borough.

This led to 548 warning letters, 35 stop and searches and 11 formal cautions being issued.

The estimated cost of cleaning up after the fly-tipping was £56,000 while a further £71,000 was spent on investigations

However, Calderdale Council has been quick to dismiss the accusations saying it is working hard to tackle the blight of fly-tipping across Calderdale.

Mark Thompson, Calderdale Council’s head of housing and environment, said: “This year there have been four successful cases of prosecutions for fly-tipping, with another four pending. We have also issued six cautions.

“Fly-tipping is a very serious criminal offence. We will not hesitate to prosecute fly-tippers but we need clear evidence to do so.

“We take action to try to prevent fly-tipping. For example, on council-owned land we put up fences to deter fly-tippers, we have conducted stops and searches of suspect vehicles and inspections at suspect premises to check waste disposal arrangements.

“We also provide sufficient facilities to allow residents to appropriately and correctly dispose of their waste. People can telephone the Council’s contact centre on 0845 245 6000 to have bulky household waste collected.

“We urge people to let us know if they witness fly-tipping .

“People are asked to give as much information as possible about what and / or who they have seen, including:

• The time and date of the fly-tipping

• The exact location – address / landmark, private or public land?

• The items that have been fly-tipped and the approximate quantity

• The registration number, vehicle make and colour (if relevant)

“They can report it online using the form on www.calderdale.gov.uk, or they can contact the council’s contact centre confidentially on customerfirst@calderdale.gov.uk or 0845 245 7000/0845 245 6000.”