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South Holland District Council’s contractors Kingdom issue many more fines for littering than fly-tipping prompting concerns from representatives Spalding and Sutton Bridge

Figures show a team brought in to crack down on louts who spoil the image of the area has brought in much bigger results on littering than fly-tipping – prompting concerns that they are focused on the wrong priority.

Kingdom was brought in by South Holland District Council last spring to tackle the blight of fly-tipping, littering and other enviro-crimes on a ‘cost-free basis’, funded by the fines. People receiving tickets do not have an appeal process.

Latest data shows that 320 fines were issued by wardens between October to December last year but a report to tomorrow’s (Tuesday) Performance Monitoring Panel shows two sets of figures for fly-tipping fines of just 10 and 12 respectively in that period.

Fly tippers ignore a warning sign in Spalding town centre
Fly tippers ignore a warning sign in Spalding town centre

The contract – which was not about ‘generating money’ the district council promised in March last year – has come under fire for concentrating on the towns rather than spreading out to rural areas that are suffering with the impact of fly-tipping.

But portfolio holder Anthony Casson said that enforcement is higher for littering as it is more prevalent than fly-tipping, which requires direct evidence for action to be taken.

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One person who has been repeatedly raising concerns about the contract is Sutton Bridge councillor Michael Booth, after receiving complaints about fly-tipping and dog fouling in his ward.

Coun Michael Booth
Coun Michael Booth

Coun Booth, who has called for more patrols in the villages, said: “When we agreed to the contract we were told that this was going to be the best thing for South Holland.

“From what I have seen, since the contract has been going, things have not got any better.

“Fly-tipping where I am in Sutton Bridge is no better than when the contract started. We get a lot of builder’s rubbish and tyres.

“To issue 12 fines for fly-tipping is not good enough.”

Fines for littering are listed on the district council’s website as costing £100 if paid within ten days or £150 within 14 days and carries a maximum fine of £2,500. While fly-tipping is £400 if paid within 14 days or has a maximum penalty of £50,000 – or imprisonment.

The district council keeps a 10% cut of the fines paid.

Information provided to the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting shows that 200 fines were paid in quarter three of 2023/24 – with 132 payments outstanding and that there have been 31 prosecutions.

Data for quarter two show that 356 fines were paid and 87 were outstanding. There were no prosecutions for that period.

Coun Rob Gibson in Spalding town centre
Coun Rob Gibson in Spalding town centre

Concerns about the contact have also been raised by the leader of South Holland Independents Rob Gibson.

The Spalding councillor said: “There are a lot of fines for the town centre to tidy it up – which I am all for – but I do feel they should be going out of the towns and villages and should be putting more effort to tackle fly-tipping which is what our residents would like us to do.

“If they are not doing it, we would like to see more progression.”

Enforcement officers can issue a FPN on the spot after witnessing offences such as littering, spitting or dog fouling. They do not have supply photographic or video evidence of this but are required to provide a witness statement, which is accepted in court as evidence.

The alleged offender does not have to accept the fine – and the council or contractor cannot make anyone pay. There is no statutory right of appeal but those issued with a FPN can opt to hear their case heard through the court system prior to payment.

They are also given the opportunity to make representations about the issuing of the FPN – and should be made aware of this at the time the fine is issued.

The council had stated in March last year that the contract would also involve an education campaign to remind the public of the rules on littering and issues such as early presentation of litter.

Coun Anthony Casson
Coun Anthony Casson

Coun Anthony Casson, portfolio holder for public protection and enviro-crime, said: "Littering offences are more prevalent than fly-tipping offences and so enforcement will usually be higher. Fly-tipping offences, while less common, are unfortunately more visible within our communities. Our enforcement efforts remain robust, with a focus on detecting and deterring offenders through various means, including patrols, surveillance, and educational campaigns.

“To issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or pursue prosecution for fly-tipping, we require direct evidence linking the offence to a perpetrator. When such evidence is secured, we conduct thorough investigations, often resulting in enforcement action.

“It's important to note that payment rates for Fixed Penalty Notices can vary, and non-payment typically leads to consideration for prosecution. While our quarterly report provides a payment rate as a guide, it's essential to understand that offenders are given a period to make payment before legal proceedings commence, which may span across quarters."

South Kesteven District Council is looking at banning vehicles along a country lane in Fulbeck to tackle persistent fly-tipping in its area.

What do you think of the figures? Do you think the system is working? Post your thoughts in the comments below...

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