Fines before prosecution for fly tippers and public open space car parking
A report going to Gloucester City Council's cabinet on 6 November recommends introducing Fixed Penalty Notices for those who breach their household waste duty of care, and for parking on areas of Public Open Space.
Gloucester City Council is looking at introducing fines against individuals breaching their household waste duty of care and those who park on public open spaces.
The measures will be considered by cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday 6 November in order to reduce the number of people illegally and parking vehicles on areas of Public Open Space (POS).
Under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, residents have a duty of care to ensure they get rid of their household waste properly, or face prosecution. Examples of breaching this duty of care include:
- Failing to hand over household waste to an authorised person;
- An unauthorised person being found with household waste that was handed to them by an occupier;
- Giving household waste to an unauthorised person on a site that doesn’t have a permit
Currently, residents found to be breaching the household waste duty of care are prosecuted and, if found guilty, fined upon conviction. However it is being recommended that residents are issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) in the first instance, up to a maximum of £400. There would be an early payment option of a minimum of £250 if paid within 10 days. This option would also avoid residents having a criminal record, but large-scale environmental offences or incidents involving serious hazardous waste would go straight to prosecution. Offenders who are either non-compliant with environmental officers, or do not want to pay a fine, will also be prosecuted instead.
The other area Gloucester City Council is considering introducing fixed penalty notices is for parking a vehicle on an area of Public Open Space. Reports to the council show that this is an increasing problem, which causes damage and prevents others being able to enjoy POS areas around the city.
At the moment, anyone offending against Byelaw 86 can be prosecuted by either the council or the police, and on summary conviction must pay a fine of up to £500. The change would mean an instant fine of £100, or £75 if paid within 10 days of it being issued. The council considers it a more appropriate measure with a charge similar to that of littering.
Gloucester City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Richard Cook says, “These are two issues that can blight our city, and affects the residents who do appreciate where they live. These Fixed Penalty Notices are a strong deterrent for anyone considering committing offences that harm and damage our environment.
“These fines are still a tough stance on fly tipping and parking in open spaces, but give residents the opportunity to pay for their offence without going through the courts.