Tougher fines for fly-tipping as Telford council responds to calls for stronger deterrent

Telford & Wrekin Council has introduced tougher fines for people caught illegally dumping waste in the area following a clampdown on the "blight" of fly-tipping.

Councillor Richard Overton with examples of items which are often illegally fly-tipped
Councillor Richard Overton with examples of items which are often illegally fly-tipped

The council already hands out the maximum fines allowed by the Government for those caught illegally dumping rubbish, currently set at £400, but it has previously offered a 50 per cent discount for those who pay the fixed penalty notice within 10 days of it being issued.

That discount has now been slashed to just 25 per cent, with the early repayment charge rising from £200 to £350.

The authority says the increase has been implemented in response to feedback from residents suggesting the previous discounted penalty was an insufficient deterrent.

The change came into effect on February 1 and comes after the council issued 138 fixed penalty notices and more than 270 warning letters to illegal fly-tippers in the past 12 months.

Telford & Wrekin Council is now calling for greater powers to be able to increase the maximum amount it can fine offenders without a case going to court.

Councillor Richard Overton, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, enforcement and transport, said: “Fly-tipping is a top priority for this council because we know it is important to people.

"The decision to increase the early repayment option shows we are on the side of law-abiding residents in the fight against waste crime.

“Residents said they wanted continued action on fly-tipping and a stronger deterrent against this type of environmental vandalism and we have listened.

“Dumping waste is a blight on our borough and if left untouched fly-tipped waste is bad for the environment and can attract vermin and is a cost to the taxpayer.

“Unlike other councils, we don’t charge for disposal of household waste at our household recycling centres, nor for recycling garden waste. In response to residents, we have also introduced further discounts for bulk waste collections, so there is no excuse for fly-tipping.

“We will not hesitate to issue fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping and prosecute offenders because improving the quality of people’s lives and protecting communities is our number one focus.”

Since January 2022 the council’s enforcement team has investigated about 3,500 fly tips working in partnership with town and parish councils through the Community Action Teams as well as the Safer & Stronger Communities project.

But there were still more than 4,800 fly tips reported in November 2022, which is why Telford & Wrekin Council says it is stepping up efforts to stamp out the practice.

The council says the launch of Telford & Wrekin Watch has been a key factor in raising awareness of the problem of fly-tipping and encouraging residents to report offenders.

The council has also set up a confidential number on 01952 388800 for people to pass on information and help catch those who illegally tip rubbish.

The news comes as figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) this week show that nationally, the number of fly-tipping incidents remained above a million last year – despite levels falling from an all-time record during lockdown.

England saw 1.09 million incidents in 2021/22, which was down 4 per cent from 1.13 million during the previous year when council tips were closed due to the pandemic.

The figures by DEFRA also show a sharp rise in the number of fines handed out, with fixed-penalty notices imposed by councils rising 58 per cent to 91,000, and court-issued fines nearly tripling from 621 in 2020/2021 to 1,798 last year.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News