The Council’s Executive Committee approved the use of new legislation from Welsh Government to issue Fixed penalty Notices for more minor offences. Fly tipping is an offence under Section 33(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and relates to the deposit of controlled waste or extractive waste in or on any land other than in accordance with an environmental permit or exemption. The Council currently has one of the best detection rates for fly-tipping offences in Wales, and has carried out 77 successful court convictions over the past 10 years. However, these prosecutions can be lengthy and time consuming and the new powers give Environmental Health Officers the freedom to issue Fixed Penalty Notices, especially for low level first time offenders. If a prosecution is successful at court the Council can be awarded prosecution costs which can often take a while to recover from the defendant. Habitual offenders, however, will still be taken to court where tougher sentences can be imposed. Councillor Garth Collier, Executive Member for the Environment, says: “Fly-tipping blights our communities, and costs millions across Wales to clean up. In 2016/17 we received 845 reports of illegal fly tipping in Blaenau Gwent, and each one had to be investigated and cleared up by our teams. Court cases can be lengthy and use up a lot of time and resources so I am pleased that colleagues on the Executive have approved these new powers to enable offenders to be dealt with quickly and effectively. “Our residents are continually telling us that a clean living environment is important to them and it is one of this Council’s priorities going forward, so I welcome this new legislation and would like to remind anyone that if they have any information about fly-tipping to please get in touch.”
The £400 fine will be reduced to £350 for early payment (within 10 days), however if it is not paid after 14 days court action will be instigated.
Welsh Government indicates that the following criteria would be considered suitable for the use of an FPN:
First time non-habitual offenders only
Non-hazardous waste only
Up to a car boot load
Up to 8 black bags
One or two bulky items (e.g. furniture, white goods)