FLY-tipping, littering and other waste-related offences will incur a harsher punishment after a council increased fines by up to 230% reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
Councillors in Basildon, , voted to raise the upper limits of fixed penalty notices (FPN), putting the fine for littering up from £150 to £500.
The fine for fly-tipping fines will be up to £1,000, a 150% rise from £400.
“We want people to abide by the law so we don’t have anybody being fined,” said councillor Kevin Blake.
The Conservative councillor introduced the motion at a meeting that heard councils in England had the power to increase fines, as set out by legislation in July, as a deterrent.
It means household waste duty-of-care offences – when waste from a property is fly-tipped by a third party – now carries an FPN of up to £600, up from from £400.
Andrew Schrader, also a Conservative, said the council needed a zero-tolerance approach, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
“It’s a blight; it’s incredibly anti-social and it costs us a lot of money to clean up,” he added.
“The [FPN] fines should match the magnitude of the effects.”
Councillor Craig Rimmer, also a Conservative, claimed to have witnessed “shocking” incidents in which workers for waste disposal companies, subcontracted by the council, had thrown waste into hedges in residential areas.
Labour councillor Terry Webb said: “I will emphasise the need for greater communication with residents, warning of the pitfalls that can occur when [the council] engages with the services of third-party companies.”
In the last financial year, the Conservative-controlled council issued issued almost 5,000 FPNs, the vast majority of which were for littering, with 147 for fly-tipping and 13 for neglecting duty-of-care.
These generated £81,000 for the council.
Stuart Sullivan, Conservative, said the income did not motivate the increases, which were “purely for the purposes of deterring [offenders] and prevention.”