Thurrock councillors disappointed at small rise in fixed penalty notices

THURROCK Councillors were disappointed that some fixed penalty notices were only proposed to rise a little in the next financial year.

Members of the Cleaner, Greener, Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee were discussing proposed fees and charges in the environment area.

They were told fixed penalties (FPNs) for dog fouling, fly-posting, littering, and graffiti were proposed to go up from £75 to £78 with similar increases in the reduced amount for paying within ten days.

Speaking after Thursday (21 January) evening’s meeting, committee chair Cllr Roy Jones said: “We were told these penalties were compared with those imposed by neighbouring councils and we asked that next year we want to see those comparisons.

“But members thought some of these charges were not enough of a deterrent and should be increased to £100 or more.

“Gavin Dennett explained the potentially costly legal issues this could cause if the council had to defend the actual amount of its FPNs in court in addition to collecting the fines, but in these financially difficult times for councils I think this is something we should look at more closely.”

He added: “While it is right and proper the council should limit the increases in fees and charges paid by law-abiding people receiving services or using council property, perhaps we should look differently at those who ignore the rules.”

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