Fly-tippers should be fined and stripped of assets, says South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon
The MP for South Norfolk has called for more severe punishments for fly-tippers, following a spike in incidents in recent months.
Last week, South Norfolk Council revealed it had carried out 206 fly-tipping investigations in the past 12 months, however, only a tiny fraction of these had resulted in fixed penalty notices being handed out.
Last week, Richard Bacon said heftier fines needed to be handed out to deter people from illegally dumping their waste – even going as far to suggest people should be stripped of some of their assets if they are found guilty.
Mr Bacon, who has been commissioned by the Prime Minister to carry out a review into how self-build housebuilding can be accelerated, said: “Fly-tipping is an environmental crime – it affects us all.
“If you are a local farmer and someone dumps a sofa on the edge of your land, for reasons passing understanding, you have to pay to clear it up.
“I think we need much better systems for coping with fly-tipping and people need to understand that the consequences are very severe.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with very severe fines and people having assets taken away from them because we have to get past this.
“I was at Morrisons [in Victoria Road] this morning, just putting some bottles into the bottle bank and somebody had taken an enormous pile of clothes and just thrown them on the ground.
“You couldn’t actually get to the bottle bank and it looked a right old mess – I’m surprised Morrisons put up with it.
“It’s we who are responsible for our environment, and we can all do a bit to help.”
In the past month, South Norfolk Council, which deals with litter collection, has reported handing out a number of fines for people unlawfully dumping waste.
This includes a catering business which fly-tipped business waste in Diss, and a Harleston woman for handing over her household waste to an unlicensed waste carrier.
The overwhelming majority of investigations carried out by the district council, however, go unsolved – draining council resources which could otherwise be spent elsewhere.
Mr Bacon, who has served as the member of parliament for South Norfolk for more than two decades, suggested heavy punishments for fly-tippers would give the district council more money to invest in other areas.
Speaking to Park Radio earlier this month, he said: “I would rather the council spent that money improving sports and leisure facilities.
“We have a swimming pool in Diss, but do we have a multi-disciplinary leisure centre where there is every sport you can possibly want?
“From badminton and judo to an Olympic-size swimming pool, can we cater for the proportion of the population who would like to train for serious swimming at an elite level? Do we have a high-end sports track?
“All these things would be great facilities to have. People complain that children gather on the street and hang around, but there aren’t good places for them to go to.
“I would rather council tax be spent on places like that rather than on picking up litter.”