South Yorkshire councils issue on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers

Councils are cracking down on fly-tippingCouncils are cracking down on fly-tipping
Councils are cracking down on fly-tipping
Three South Yorkshire councils collected nearly £10,000 from fly-tippers in on-the-spot fines over 12 months.

Local authorities across England handed out more than 4,600 fixed penalty notices and collected at least £773,000 for the offence in the year after the Government gave them new powers in May 2016.

Sheffield Council issued 27 penalty notices and collected £5,800 from offenders, Doncaster Council issued 22 and collected £2,580 and Rotherham issued eight and collected £400.

There are no figures available for Barnsley Council.

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Fixed penalty notices avoid councils having to prosecute offenders at court.Local Government Association environment spokesman, Martin Tett, said it was wrong that councils had to spend 'vast amounts' a year tackling the problem at a time when they continued to face significant funding pressures.The move by the Government to allow councils to apply fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping - in response to requests from town halls - had been a 'big step in the right direction' to help crackdown on fly-tippers, he said.But he said councils may still feel prosecutions are the most effective course of action."When they take offenders to court, councils need a faster and more effective legal system which means fly-tippers are given hard-hitting fines for more serious offences," he said."Local authorities should also be able to recoup all prosecution costs, rather than be left out of pocket."An Environment Department spokeswoman said: "Fly-tipping is an unacceptable blight on our landscape, which is why we have cracked down on offenders by strengthening sentencing guidelines and giving councils the powers to hand out on-the-spot fines to fly-tippers."We have made it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized and will continue to work with local partners to stop this inexcusable crime."