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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-09

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Rural economy hit by increase in fly tipping

BRITISH farmers and landowners are counting the cost of increased fly tipping after the Bank Holiday weekend. Rural areas face a surge in illegally dumped waste following public holidays and because private landowners are liable for the cleanup process they are spending, on average ₤844 per incident.

According to a recent survey by Farmers Weekly in association with CLA Insurance, almost ⅔ of farmers and landowners have been affected by fly tipping with most victims saying they are targeted around 2 to 3 times per month.

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses have warned the rural economy is already facing significant uncertainty in the run up to the UK leaving the EU and extra costs for clearing illegally dumped waste is adding to the burden. It has proposed an action plan designed to tackle the anti social behaviour and ensure farmers and landowners are not unfairly out of pocket. CLA President Ross Murray said:- "Private landowners usually find a spike in incidents after every public holiday, during the May and August Bank Holidays it is often DIY rubbish, around Christmas, there are more electrical and other household items. However, building waste and general littering are pretty constant throughout the year with rural land nearest to the big Cities most affected. Waste attracts more waste so once there is a fly tipping hot spot more usually follows. Fly tipping is not a victimless crime. Private landowners are fed up of clearing away other people's rubbish and paying for the privilege. If they don't act, they risk prosecution for illegal storage of waste which is simply not fair. We are calling on the Government to remove landowner liability to clear up waste on private land and for local councils to introduce a scheme which would allow any private landowner to dispose of fly tipped rubbish at a waste disposal site free of charge."

The CLA's action plan also advocates seizing vehicles to act as a deterrent, enforcing fines for home and business owners whose waste is found in fly tipped locations, appointing a:- 'Fly Tipping Tsar' to coordinate with national agencies on the scale of the crime as well as educating the public and working in partnership to help reduce waste crime through best practice.

George Winn Darley owns Aldby Park country estate at Buttercrambe near Stamford Bridge in the North East Riding of Yorkshire which suffers from multiple incidents of fly tipping each year.  

In January, his team spent a total of 46 man hours removing 2 tractor trailer loads of fly tipped waste along road verges at a total cost of around ₤800.

George said:- "Judging by the marked increase in fly tipping, fixed penalty notices are really ineffective. Local authorities need to crack down hard by increasing fines, seizing vehicles and even imprisonment. At the moment, it is more expensive for the victim to remove the fly tipped waste than the fixed penalty notice as more than 80% of these are for ₤500 or less. My personal bug bear is that of littering. It would be really great if high street fast food chains took responsibility for educating their customers on the appropriate ways in which to dispose of their rubbish."

 

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