More than 1,400 fines were handed to people for fly-tipping and littering in Brighton and Hove in the past financial year, according to new figures.
Brighton and Hove City Council handed out 723 fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping and 701 for littering, making 1,424 in total, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Fly-tipped waste was found 1,527 times, according to the DEFRA figures for 2020-21, though no court fines were reported.
The figures included 222 “animal carcass incidents”, 108 incidents involving construction or demolition waste, 84 involving white goods and 56 involving clinical waste.
Most cases, though, involved household rubbish, which accounted for 692 incidents – or 45 per cent.
The total number of fly-tipping incidents was down from the 2,100 cases recorded the year before.
DEFRA said that no fines resulted from court convictions in Brighton and Hove last year and nor was anyone fined in court in 2019-20.
Brighton and Hove recorded 5.2 fly-tipping incidents for every 1,000 people in 2020-21. This was well below the average of 20.1 across England.
At a council meeting last week, independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh asked how many fines for fly-tipping had been issued this year – since the start of April – for five communal bin locations in her Rottingdean Coastal ward
- Saltdean Lido
- Saltdean Drive
- Rottingdean Coastal car park
- Eastern Road/Sussex Square
- Marine Drive just south of Sussex Square
The reply said: “Thirty-four fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping have been issued across these locations. It is not prudent to break down the figures for each site as this would indicate where the CCTV cameras are and where the dummy ones are.”
Across England, there were a record 1.1 million incidents of rubbish dumped on highways and beauty spots in 2020-21, up from 980,000 the previous year.
But the number of court fines halved from 2,672 to just 1,313 – with their total value decreasing from £1.2 million to £440,000.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said that the vast majority of fly-tipping occurred on private land and was not included in the figures.
CLA president Mark Tufnell said: “These figures do not tell the full story of this disgraceful behaviour which blights our beautiful countryside.
“Fly-tipping continues to wreck the lives of many of us living and working in the countryside – and significant progress needs to be made to stop it.
“It’s not just the odd bin bag but large household items, from unwanted sofas to broken washing machines, building materials and even asbestos being dumped across our countryside.”
Sarah Lee, director of policy and campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, said: “From quiet rural lanes and farmers’ fields to bustling town centres and residential areas, fly-tipping continues to cause misery across the country.
“Lockdown and the subsequent closure of tips only exacerbated this situation and we would urge local authorities to think very carefully about preventing access to these facilities in future.”
The government said that the first national coronavirus lockdown affected many local authorities’ recycling programmes and that changes to household purchasing may also have driven the increased fly-tipping.
Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill said: “During the pandemic, local authorities faced an unprecedented challenge to keep rubbish collections running and civic amenity sites open, and the government worked closely with them to maintain these critical public services.
“We have already given local authorities a range of powers to tackle fly-tipping and we are going further, strengthening powers to detect and prosecute waste criminals through the new Environment Act, consulting on introducing electronic waste tracking and reforming the licencing system.”