Talking Point: Are penalties for fly-tipping enough to deter offenders?

One of the advantages of living in a beautiful district like Sevenoaks is that the vast majority of householders dispose of their waste responsibly.  However, occasionally I round a bend on one of our country lanes only to find a fridge, a mattress or a large pile of wood dumped beside the road.   Wherever it occurs fly-tipping is ugly, damages our environment, poses a threat to wildlife and to human health, and spoils our enjoyment of our local area.  Fortunately, since our Conservative Council established a dedicated fly-tipping investigation team (the only local authority in Kent to do so) the amount of fly-tipped waste in the part of the district where I live has most definitely decreased.

Nationally, the picture is also improving with the latest figures showing no increase in fly-tipping incidents for the first time in five years for the year 2017/18.  Whilst the greater powers given to local authorities three years ago to issue on the spot, hefty fines of up to £400 may have had an impact; of far greater deterrent value, is the certain knowledge that if you choose to dump disgusting, vile and repellent waste in our beautiful Kent Countryside, our Conservative-led Council, will come after you.  Reports from residents will be investigated, cautions and fixed penalty notices will be issued and offenders will be prosecuted.

Waste crime costs both the national and local economy millions of pounds a year to clean-up, costs that fall upon us, the taxpayer and private landowners.  That’s why I support the Council’s determination to stamp out this disgusting, anti-social behaviour.  So if you witness fly-tipping as it is happening please dial, 101 (the Police non-emergency number) and report it immediately.  For all other fly-tipping on public land or on the highway please either report it online using the Council’s website or ring 01732 227000.