Fly-tippers 'should be on a wall of shame' says Luton councillor

About 130 alleged fly-tippers are due to be taken to court by Luton Borough Council after refusing to pay a fixed penalty, a meeting heard.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 5:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 5:28 pm

Anyone caught flouting the council's new anti-litter strategy should be named on a "wall of shame" in the town - that's according to executive member for housing, waste and climate change, councillor Tom Shaw

Councillor Shaw described how he recently persuaded a mother to pick up a nappy discarded from a car, while in a traffic queue in Stoneygate Road, and place it in a bin less than ten steps away.

He also told the executive committee about a private hire driver, close to his home, who "has his tea and throws the remains under his car", adding: "If we catch him, his licence would be gone."

Should fly-tippers be named and shamed?

The committee was asked to agree to introduce an anti-littering strategy.

"I believe there should be a wall of shame," explained councillor Shaw. "Every one where we catch their picture should go up there.

"We've got 130 people we're taking to court for fly-tipping, who've refused to pay the penalty notice.

"Once they've been convicted, we should publish their names and addresses. We've got to publicise it.

"The grown ups, I'm sorry, they think it's normal. We've tried all the nice bits, such as adverts on the buses.

"All the sympathy I used to have has gone. Now's the time to get really tough.

"If they refuse to pay they should go on a wall of shame, so that people realise if they get caught, this is what's going to happen."

A proposed increase in the fixed penalty to £150 was welcomed when the issue was considered by the council's overview and scrutiny board, said Liberal Democrat Barnfield councillor David Franks.

"It's a serious issue across the town. But fixed penalty notices on their own aren't the complete answer.

"There's clearly a need for a great deal more education and publicity, both of which cost money.

"The thought occurred to some councillors that fast food takeaways as one of the key sources of a lot of the litter that goes all over the town might be persuaded to contribute towards the budget.

"They're not going to do that without some means of encouraging them.

"It's important you take a look at that issue and see if there's some way you can squeeze some money out of them."

Labour Dallow councillor Abbas Hussain, who's the executive member for neighbourhood services and community safety, spoke about the education, publicity and enforcement.

"This will be included in a wider review of the current provisions and the opportunity to ramp up campaigns across the spectrum of anti-social behaviour and environmental crime generally," he said.

"There's no obligatory requirement on takeaways to contribute financially to mitigating the impact of their business.

"But the recent government paper 'Build back better high streets' aims to review planning practices and guidance over litter.

"The purpose of the report is the reintroduction of the anti-littering strategy and increasing the fixed penalty for littering to £150, retaining an early discount payment of £75.

"The strategy aims to eradicate littering at a local level, but more specifically provide a change in behaviour.

"Increasing the fixed penalty amount is to deter those who choose to litter and will be supported by a strong anti-littering communication campaign."

The executive agreed the introduction of an anti-littering strategy and the increased fixed penalty charge.