Pressure is mounting on ministers to hike penalties for England’s litter louts and launch a £1,000 on the spot fine for fly tipping.
Campaigners from Keep Britain Tidy have today called for people who dump bulky goods to face three-figure fixed penalty notices, as figures indicate councils are spending £1bn on yearly clean up costs.
The number of fly-tipping incidents is thought to have climbed 20% last year to 852,000, with around 2,000 convictions being made.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has branded the system for tackling fly-tippers ‘unfit for purpose’ and has demanded town halls win powers to hit offenders with immediate fines. Persistent littering can currently be punished with a £2,500 fine but most people caught are currently thought to typically face an £80 penalty.
Its environment spokesman, Peter Box, said: ‘At a time when councils face difficult choices about services in the light of reducing budgets, they are having to spend almost £1bn each year on tackling litter and fly-tipping.’
Chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, Richard McIlwain, said: ‘It’s high time the Government started to take it seriously.
‘We need a really effective minister for litter, one who is prepared to introduce a national litter strategy for England, to increase fines for littering and introduce a £1,000 fixed-penalty notice for fly-tipping.’
Stoke on Trent Council was last year fielding 400 complaints a month about dumped items including abandoned tyres, cars and baths. Derby City Council was forced to establish an after dark ‘enforcement team’ to tackle local fly tipping.