There were 10,829 incidents of fly-tipping recorded in Hammersmith and Fulham in 2015/16. That is a significant increase on 2013/14 – just before Labour took control – when the total was 9,011. So that is a 20 per cent increase.
At the same time enforcement action is down. In 2013/14 there were 59 Fixed Penalty Notices issued (far too few). In 2015/16 it was even lower, down to 41.
New powers have been brought in that make it easier to seize vans found to be used for fly-tipping. But these powers have not been used in Hammersmith and Fulham. No vehicles have been seized.
So that is bad enough. But for the first sixth months of this financial year – April to September – there have been 7,430 incidents of fly-tipping. That compares with 4,841 for April to September last year. By my calculations that is an increase of another 53 per cent.
Not all this is the Council’s fault. The maximum statutory fixed penalty notice is only £400. Surely in serious cases when a whole van load of rubbish is dumped it should be higher? In the case of other fines the revenue goes to central government rather than to local authorities. Also there has been an increase in fly-tipping in other boroughs – although I suspect on not such an appalling scale.
Anyway in the last six months there have only been two prosecutions. Often the evidence will be there on CCTV but to takes time and determination to pursue the culprits.
Fly-tipping is dragging the borough down. Taking action to deal with it is demanded from residents. It should be a priority for the Council. But at the moment it isn’t. There needs to be far more enforcement action to deal with this escalating problem.