Cost of fly-tipping revealed in Uttlesford

HUNDREDS of fly-tipping sites have had to be cleared by Uttlesford District Council in the space of a year, according to new figures.

The council cleared 228 illegal dumps and, according to a new report, �3,333 of taxpayers’ cash was spent taking out 102 enforcement actions against litterbugs.

The figures, obtained by the Countryside Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act, related to fly-tipping between April 2010 and March 2011. The numbers also pointed to a cost of �13,363 for clearing up the mess.

However, statistics suggesting that NO-ONE had been prosecuted for the offence in the district is wide of the mark, according to the district council.

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately, due to software issues, incorrect information was provided by the council to the Countryside Alliance when responding to their request for information, which suggested that no enforcement action had been taken.


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“This is not the case. In 2010-11 the council issued five formal warnings and one caution, and prosecuted two individuals, in addition we issued a �300 fixed penalty notice for an unrecognised waste carrier, and issued several fixed penalty notices for littering. In 2009-10 we issued six formal warnings for fly tipping.

“In each case the council enforcement team, in liaison with our legal department, assessed the most appropriate cause of action based on the facts.”

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The statistics show that UK-wide taxpayers were clobbered to the tune of more than �40m for the clearing of rubbish and enforcement of punitive action against illegal waste dumpers. But only �692,000 was collected in fines.

Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Alice Barnard, said: “Fly-tipping blights our countryside – ruining beautiful views, endangering wildlife and habitats and costing the taxpayer millions of pounds to clear up.

“Fly-tipping is a crime that perpetrators can get away with. We need a co-ordinated plan which ensures people who fly-tip are caught and punished and provides greater support to local authorities and landowners who bear the brunt of the cost of clearing up the mess.”

The Uttlesford spokesman stressed that ALL reports of fly tipping in the district are investigated and that firm action will be taken against perpetrators.

“Where there is evidence pointing towards those responsible we will pursue them. In the majority of fly tipping incidents however, it is not possible to ascertain this,” he added.

Any residents who spot incidents of fly tipping are urged to report it to the council, either by calling 01799 510326 or e-mailing enforcement@uttlesford.gov.uk

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