Basildon Council aims to double fines for fly-tipping

Fines for illegally dumping waste across Basildon could double to £400 under plans being drawn up by the council.

Basildon Borough Council wants to raise the fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping from £200 to £400.

If approved by the Leisure and Environment Committee next week, littering penalties will also increase from £100 to £120, according to a council report.

These would be decreased to £250 and £75 respectively if paid in the first ten days of the fines being issued.

According to the report, fly-tipping is concentrated in pockets across the borough and some residents are therefore more likely to experience it than others.

A section reads: “These issues have a high impact on the cleanliness of our neighbourhoods, and the pride which residents have in their area. 

“Residents tell us that they expect their neighbourhoods to be clean, tidy and free of litter and detritus.

“Whilst most residents do the right thing with their waste, a minority can let an area down, with dumped items and ripped open refuse bags leading to and encouraging further dumping and having a knock-on effect on other services, such as Street Cleansing.”

The report also says levels of fly-tipping, as well as the resources given to council’s team of Street Scene Education and Enforcement Officers, were consistent until June 2018.

Additionally, the number of abandoned vehicles has increased in recent years.

This has resulted in a reduction in the capacity of the team to enforce fly-tipping and littering and to provide education on council recycling and refuse services.

According to the report, the team enforces a number of areas, including abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping, early and late recycling containers and dog fouling.

The report continues to state the likely financial implications of making changes to the fines are “unclear”, but could cause an increased need to prosecution offenders following a fixed penalty notice.

An increase in prosecution levels could result in an increase in the resources needed, it continues.

Regulations introduced in 2016 allowed local councils to fine people between £150 and £400 for dumping waste.

If no amount is specified then the default fine is £200, which is what Basildon Council currently charges.

Similarly, the national maximum fine for littering was increased from £80 to £150 in 2018.

The council raised its fines for littering in February 2020 to £100, discounted to £60 if paid within the first 14 days.

The Leisure and Environment Committee will vote on January 31 on whether to approve the increases.

Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter