Taking tough approach to fly-tipping

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News

East Lindsey District Council has insisted it will take action to combat fly-tipping - despite initiating just two successful prosecutions in the last three years.

The issue was raised at a full meeting of the district council on Wednesday.

Coun George Horton said that given the extent of the fly-tipping problem in the district, the situation was ‘alarming’.

Portfolio holder for planning Coun Richard Fry defended the council’s record and insisted that the authority would prosecute ‘where robust evidence is available’.

He added: “It is, however, sometimes hard to obtain evidence because such activity is invariably clandestine and carried out after dark - witness statements are not readily achieved.”

In both successful prosecutions, magistrates granted a conditional discharge to the defendants, and the council was awarded its costs in bringing the cases to court.

Councillors were also told that only seven dog-owners since 2013 had faced sanctions after failing to clear up their pets’ mess in public places.

According to a report, all seven owners were issued with fixed penalty notices which incur fines of £50.

In 2011, there were six fixed penalty notices while in 2012, 11 notices were issued.

Where owners refuse to pay the fines, they can be prosecuted, but ELDC has only taken this action twice over the past five years.

In one case, an owner was fined £185 - plus costs - while in the other, the fine was £184, plus costs.

Councillors also debated the importance of better internet and email communication.

There have been concerns about the availability of quicker broadband services, particularly in rural areas.

“It’s what drives the modern economy,” claimed Coun Neil Cooper who described broadband in his own town, Burgh le Marsh, as ‘patchy’.

Similar observations were made by Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders and Coun Tony Howard with the latter suggesting that an improved service might attract city-dwellers seeking a life in the countryside or close to the coast.

Following a short discussion, the council agreed to increase its contribution to the county wide campaign for improved broadband from the previous allocation of £1 million to £1.32 million.

l Charging residents for green waste collection seems to have paid off for ELDC.

Although the introduction of a fee was controversial with residents, the measure generated an income of £809,368 during 2014-15. The target had been £800,000.