Council needs to be ‘tougher’

A council needs to get tougher over fly-tipping, it’s been claimed, after concerns were raised over a lack of action.

One councillor even expressed dissatisfaction that he’d approached a fast food outlet to get CCTV evidence of one fly-tipper, only to be told by South Holland District Council there wasn’t enough evidence to progress it further.
The district saw a 90 per cent increase for collections made in April to October compared to 2020, according to data submitted to the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, whilst they are 155 per cent higher for the same period in 2019.
Since April 2020 the district council’s Environmental Protection team has made no financial penalties, prosecutions or took enforcement action according to statistics issued to a meeting of SHDC’s Performance Monitoring Panel.
The only action the department made was to issue 22 informal warnings and two statutory notices in that time.
Coun David Wilkinson told that meeting: “On several occasions I’ve reported fly tips to South Holland and on most occasions there’s been no follow up, which is disappointing.
“I thought I’d got decent evidence found a receipt they’d left for a fast food outlet which was timed and dated.
“I’ve spoken to the fast food outlet who say they have everything on CCTV.
“The person I spoke to at the council was not really interested.
“I was told ‘we can’t pin it down, their CCTV isn’t that good’ but the person I spoke to at the fast food outlet said they can view it in a few seconds.
“Fly-tipping is disgusting. It’s a blot on the landscape. It’s appalling for the residents of South Holland and I don’t know what the people driving through the area I think.
“I can’t see where we’re making any attempt to stop it.”
SHDC communities manager Emily Holmes said: “If there was evidence then I want to see if it’s been checked and if it hasn’t I want to ask the officer why that hasn’t been undertaken.
“There are so many occasions where incidents are reported and there isn’t any evidence, on the occasions where there is we absolutely have to chase it up.
“Where there is evidence, we can take it further, but it’s incredibly difficult to get that evidence.”
The Environmental Protection enforcement statistics also cover action taken against those putting rubbish out days before collections.
Coun Tracey Carter said: “I can’t pretend to be anything other than disappointed.
“I don’t think as an authority we’re being anywhere near as tough as we should be.
“The early presentation of waste annoys me as much. In Holbeach town it causes an absolute problem with people putting them out early.
“There’s only one early protection warning I can see for the early presentation of waste, so I’m really hoping some of the community warden fixed penalties are for early waste presentations.
“If you go through the bags the evidence is there, they’re not hiding it like fly-tippers. I genuinely think if resources were put into it they can easily be found.”
The meeting also heard the roll-out of mobile CCTV cameras designed to police fly-tipping hot spots had been delayed.
“There have been challenges with the cameras and security of the footage and how to protect that so the information isn’t insecure,” Mrs Holmes said. “Advancement in technology has meant we won’t have that hurdle.
“They were due for roll- out, though we’ve had some challenges internally which means it’s been pushed back, but we do think we’ve found a solution which means we can use those cameras.”
The panel’s chair Coun Bryan Alcock said: “I think the authority needs to think about how it can do some detection in a better way and we’ve got to put more resources into it because it’s becoming an utter pain. If there’s a message from this panel it’s ‘when you’re doing your budget, nudge a few figures on this because you need them’.”

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