REVEALED: Blackpool's fly-tipping crackdown working as incidents fall

Fly-tipped rubbish.
Fly-tipped rubbish.

Blackpool is cracking down on people who illegally dump waste - and new figures show that the tactics are working.

Blackpool remains the fly-tipping capital of Lancashire with the highest number of incidents per year.

In 2014 tonnes of rubbish was fly-tipped across Blackpool streets blocking two roads

In 2014 tonnes of rubbish was fly-tipped across Blackpool streets blocking two roads

But following a crackdown, the number of tipping incidents fell from 3,920 reported incidents in 2017/17, down from 4,190 the year before.

Blackpool Council’s Deputy Leader, coun Gillian Campbell, said: “Blackpool Council is pro-actively targeting all types of fly-tipping from single use refuse bags to large scale fly-tipping.

“Our message is clear. We will not tolerate activities that damage our environment and are actively pursuing those people that act illegally.”

Blackpool Council’s success contrasts with the situation in Preston, where reported incidents more than doubled over the same time period.

Breakdown of Lancashire's fly-tipping figures and costs.

Breakdown of Lancashire's fly-tipping figures and costs.

The statistics, provided by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), show that incidents in Preston have increased from 1,490 in 2015/16 to 3,040 in 2016/17, with Preston Council spending £359,553 to clear the chaos caused.

Across the north west, incidents rose by 10,664.

Preston Council cabinet member for planning and regulation, coun Peter Moss, said: “The increased number of incidents in Preston could be attributed to re-training staff in the recording of fly-tipping incidents.

“There also seemed to be an increase in extra waste over the recent festive period, and we would remind residents to recycle as much as possible.”

Fly-tipping on alleyway near Healey Street in Blackpool

Fly-tipping on alleyway near Healey Street in Blackpool

The number of reported incidents in Wyre have also fallen, from 1.839 in 2015/16 to 1,473 in 2016/17.

A council spokesman said: “The decline in cases of fly tipping is positive and a result of the combined efforts of many agencies to raise awareness that this is an unacceptable practice and that more households, businesses and waste operators are becoming aware of their duty of care in relation to waste.”

Incidents in Fylde have increased from 601 to 652. When contacted, a spokesman from Fylde Council said that “there has been more partnership working between local authorities and the Environment Agency, sharing information and pursuing known offenders in their efforts to bring down the number”.

Fines issued

Fylde tipping in the Fylde countryside.

Fylde tipping in the Fylde countryside.

In October 2017 a Gazette investigation found that new powers given to councils across Lancashire saw fines of hundreds of pounds issued to fly-tippers.

Between May 2016 and May 2017, a total of 13 on the spot fines were issued by Lancashire’s borough and city councils, totalling £3,050.

More than 4,600 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued nationally, collecting £773,000 for councils, meaning that Lancashire accounted for less than one per cent of all FPNs issued.

We asked each council who presented figures in October for an update on the use of on FPNs since April 2017 to December 2017...

- In Preston, Seven FPNs were issued. Six were paid within seven days, reducing each penalty to £200.

- In Blackpool, 24 FPNs were issued in this time frame, totalling £9,600.

- In South Ribble, three FPNs were issued. No data was supplied regarding total cost.

- In Chorley, one FPN was issued totalling £200.

- In Wyre, three FPNs were issued. Two are currently unpaid and the other was £250.

- In Fylde, three FPNs were issued, totalling £600. Fines are £400 each but reduced to £200 for paying within 14 days.

- In Lancaster, 13 FPNs were issued ‘exceeding £1000’.