Labour councillors are calling for better communication and education, as well as tougher enforcement action, to tackle fly-tipping across the Borough which costs Barnet Council around £500,000 a year to clean up.
Labour councillors believe the Fixed Penalty Notice fining scheme introduced in 2016 is generating income for the Council, but not changing people's behaviour by deterring them from dumping rubbish.
Labour's Community Leadership spokesperson, Cllr Sara Conway, has put the issue on the agenda of the Community Leadership & Libraries Committee (12 June) in a member's item. In her item she says:
"Residents are frequently raising with their local councillors the rising amount of repeat fly-tipping in locations in certain wards and across the Borough. Areas affected by enviro-crime appear neglected and this neglect encourages other forms of crime, impacting upon perceived and actual community safety. Yet environmental crime has disappeared as a specific aspect of community safety in the Committee on Community Leadership’s remit, at a time when the problem appears at unprecedented levels in our Borough.
I request that this omission is addressed and that a report is brought to the next CLLC meeting to consider a comprehensive and effective communications programme on education and enforcement on this important local dimension to community safety."
Cllr Conway will be presenting examples of fly tipping across the Borough at the meeting
Cllr Conway also said: “We seem to have a growing epidemic of fly tipping in Barnet, but while more and more people are being fined this seems to be having little impact on the problem.
“We need a much more comprehensive, robust and visual communications and education programme with proper community engagement to get the message over to people that fly tipping is a criminal offence and is not acceptable. Enviro-crime makes the area feel neglected, contributes to other forms of crime, and costs all council tax payers more to deal with it.
"We need to see a much more innovative approach to addressing the problem including piloting schemes such as monitored skip collections and free bulky item collection schemes as Barnet Labour recommended. People who don’t have cars and can't afford to hire vans need an alternative.
"We also need to see private landlords take more responsibility for disposal of mattresses and other bulky items, with more prosecutions of those who are serially fly tipping, especially people making a business out of house clearance which is then just dumped on the street rather than being disposed of lawfully."
1. A link to Cllr Conway's member's item on enviro-crime:
2. Details of the Council's 'Keep Barnet Clean' campaign: https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/news/Council-gets-tough-on-littering-and-flytipping-to-keep-Barnet-clean-ov...html
For more information contact:
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568