Council’s push for clean sweep across Northumberland

The fly-tipping offence near Holywell Dene.
The fly-tipping offence near Holywell Dene.
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Northumberland County Council is continuing its campaign to raise awareness of the damaging and costly effects of fly-tipping and littering after a Seghill man was fined for throwing rubbish bags into a river.

The man pleaded guilty to fly-tipping several bags of waste into a river at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near Holywell Dene.

The offence was under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990: Fly-tipping onto land where a waste permit is not in force. Charges were brought after environmental enforcement officers from the council’s public protection service found documentation relating to the offender in the fly-tipped waste bags.

The offender was fined £417 and has been ordered by magistrates in Bedlignton to pay costs to the council of £541.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, said: “Northumberland County Council takes a zero tolerance approach to the small minority who spoil our beautiful landscape. Fly-tipping is detrimental to the environment, local wildlife and can also be a danger to the public; not to mention the millions of pounds it costs to the taxpayer each year.

“However, we’re fully committed to tackling the problem and it’s unfortunate that a small minority are irresponsible in caring for our county’s environment. We also continue to take a more proactive approach in raising awareness of litter issues through educational initiatives such as the Love Northumberland Hate Litter campaign, which targets litter hot-spots throughout the county and challenges the behaviour of people who litter.”

So far this year, Northumberland County Council has issued 189 people with £50 fixed penalties for littering and prosecuted 41 offenders, who received fines in the range of £50 to 400 for dropping litter.

The public are encouraged to report any fly-tipping or littering from vehicles to the council on 0345 600 6400 or by visiting the council’s website – www.northumberland.gov.uk