Councils across Lancashire getting to grips with powers to deal with the blight of flytipping

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Dozens of fixed penalty notices have been handed out across Lancashire to crack down on flytipping, littering and dog fouling.

Councils across Lancashire deal with hundreds of incidents of flytipping every year, but rely on clear evidence being available to issue a fixed penalty notice, or bring a prosecution.

Coun Paul Wharton

Coun Paul Wharton

Officers in South Ribble have just issued their first fine for flytipping since a change in the law this May.

In Preston, three fixed penalty notices have been issued in recent weeks for flytipping, following a change in the rules earlier in the year.

In Burnley, 12 notices were handed out in 2015-16 but these were under a separate scheme to crack down on businesses dumping waste.

Burnley Council issued 149 fixed penalties for dog fouling in 2015/16, compared with five in Preston, six in South Ribble and seven in Chorley.

Coun Graham Walton

Coun Graham Walton

Coun Paul Wharton, an independent Conservative councillor in South Ribble, said he would like to see more enforcement action in the borough.

He said: “Fixed penalty notices not only act as a deterrent, but they also provide revenue to the council to be ploughed back into its enforcement and cleansing activities.”

Last month, a Leyland man became the first to be fined under the new fly-tipping penalties in South Ribble.

The council introduced a £400 fixed penalty earlier this year, and the first was issued after enforcement officers discovered a “significant quantity” of domestic building waste dumped on land in Fowler Lane, Farington, Leyland.

The penalties are part of wider plans to crack down on anti-social behaviour including littering, dog fouling and dogs roaming off their leads.

Four new vans have also been added to South Ribble’s existing fleet of enforcement vehicles used by neighbourhood officers.

Coun Graham Walton, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and streetscene, said: “We take great pride in our beautiful borough and are determined to stamp out anti-social behaviour by that small minority who choose to break the law.

“We have a good record on tackling this sort of behaviour and put that down to having a strong presence in the community, something that has been strengthened by the recent addition of four new vans to our existing neighbourhood fleet.

“With their bold signage these send a clear message that we won’t tolerate fly-tipping, littering and dogs off their leads.

“The introduction of fixed penalty notices in May also allows us deal more quickly with offenders for small scale fly- tipping and we have just issued the first of those with great success.”

In Preston, three fixed penalties have been issued in recent weeks for fly-tipping, after new rules were issued in May.

Each were issued for small-scale, single occurrences of fly-tipping, and offenders were given a penalty of £200 each. They have all been paid.

Meanwhile, community champions have taken matters into their own hands to clean to tackle flytipping where they live.

A Preston Council spokesman said: “The focus of the team has been ensuring we get the prosecutions in place that were already under way, and securing the prosecutions for fly-tipping at court.

“Once those were dealt with, we were able to start issuing fixed penalty notices and it’s worked in three cases and so far been very successful, and we will issue more if people choose to fly-tip.

“We can only use fixed penalty notices for small-scale, single incidents of fly-tipping, and where there is clear evidence as to who’s responsible.”

Preston Council has one full-time and one part-time enforcement officer, and the spokesman added: “We manage the resources in the best way we can to deal with prevention and enforcement.”

From May 9, local authorities were given greater powers to tackle fly-tipping by issuing penalty notices of between £150 and £400 to those caught in the act.

Coun Paul Walmsley, who oversees environmental issues for Chorley Council, said: “Fortunately, there isn’t a huge problem with fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling in Chorley but any amount is too much and in the last few years we have been running our ‘Don’t Mess with Chorley’ campaign to encourage people to clean up.

“The council has introduced greater powers this year so our officers can now issue fixed penalty notices of £200, which rises to £400 if it is not paid within 14 days.”

In Preston in 2014/15, 23 fixed penalties were issued for littering with four prosecutions, three fixed penalties were given for dog fouling and two prosecutions, and one prosecution was made for fly-tipping.

In 2015/16, 17 fixed penalty notices were issued for littering with four prosecutions, five fixed penalty notices were given for dog fouling with two prosecutions, and one prosecution was made for fly-tipping.

Three fixed penalty notices have been issued in recent weeks in Preston for fly-tipping.

In South Ribble in 2014/15, 43 fixed penalties were issued for dogs off leads, seven for dog fouling and seven for littering.

The following year, 53 fixed penalties were issued for dogs off leads, seven for littering, six for dog fouling and four in dog ban areas.

The borough’s first fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping was issued in recent weeks.

In Chorley, in 2014/15, 27 fixed penalty notices were issued for littering along with 21 prosecutions, 20 fixed penalties were issued for dog fouling with three prosecutions, and one prosecution was made for fly-tipping.

In 2015/16, seven fixed penalty notices were issued for littering with one prosecution, seven fixed penalty notices were issued for dog fouling with three prosecutions, and one prosecution was made for fly-tipping.

In Burnley, the council has been issuing ‘duty of care’ fixed penalty notices for businesses and organisations failing to control their commercial waste.

No fixed penalties under the new legislation have so far been issued in 2014-15 but 30 duty of care fixed penalty notices were issued for fly-tipping with 11 prosecutions, 145 for dog fouling with 30 prosecutions, and 47 for litter with three prosecutions.

In 2015/16, 12 duty of care fixed penalty notices were issued for fly-tipping with four prosecutions, 149 fixed penalty notices were issued for dog fouling with 11 prosecutions, and 20 fixed penalty notices were issued for litter with no prosecutions.

The figures were obtained following a Freedom of Information request to councils across the county.

Figures for the overall number of reported fly-tipping incidents in each area of the county were not provided.