Last year council officers issued eighty fixed penalty notices, 439 written warnings, 10 verbal warnings and gave site advice to 27 businesses in relation to waste issues. Just this summer the Local Government Association (LGA) reported that nationally enforcement against fly tippers alone is costing local councils £20 million a year. They said there is one fly tipping episode a minute and urged businesses to help. In Brighton and Hove the council has limited capacity to increase education and enforcement activity and is unable to carry out daily patrols to issue advice and where necessary take enforcement action. This new scheme would see Brighton and Hove CC employing a contractor to carry out enforcement alongside an education programme. It is proposed that this service would be self-funding with no cost to the council, which would receive a proportion of funds from fixed penalty notices.
In setting up the scheme, the council will follow government guidelines and best practice from other local authorities to ensure any fines are issued sensibly and only as a last resort. For example, if the littering was accidental or the offender is a child a warning will be given. Offenders will also be given an opportunity to pick up litter to avoid being fined. The enforcement scheme would initially cover fly-tipping, littering, flyposting, graffiti and disposing of business waste in communal bins illegally. If agreed, a 12 month trial could be up and running early next year.
Councillor Gill Mitchell chair of Brighton and Hove environment, transport and sustainability committee said: ““We all want to be proud of our city but sometimes its appearance is a cause for concern for residents, visitors and those who work here and we are often asked to take a tougher stance around anti-social behaviour such as dropping litter. The proposed scheme, along with the publicity and education programme, is designed to act as a deterrent and send out a strong message that deliberate anti-social behaviour which blights our city will not be tolerated.”
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