General News

New litter tax proposal!

Gary Hart October 7, 2015

On the spot fines for littering, fly-tipping, graffiti and illegal dumping of business waste in communal bins could be introduced in Brighton & Hove.


Members of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) committee are being asked to agree proposals for a new waste enforcement scheme.

If agreed, the council will begin an information and education campaign with the first fines being issued from next February.

The council has drawn up the proposals in a bid to tackle anti-social and illegal behaviour, improve the environment and minimise waste clean-up and disposal costs.

Each year the council receives complaints about fly-tipping, litter and other anti-social behaviour and the issues are often raised at residents groups and community meetings.

Last year council officers issued 439 written warnings, 10 verbal warnings and gave site advice to 27 businesses in relation to waste issues. Eighty fixed penalty notices were issued.

However, the council has limited capacity to increase education and enforcement activity and is unable to carry out daily patrols to issue advice and where necessary take enforcement action.

The new scheme would see the council employ an outside contractor to carry out enforcement alongside an education programme. The service would be self-funding with no cost to the council, which would receive a proportion of funds from fixed penalty notices.

In setting up the scheme, the council would follow government guidelines and best practice from other local authorities to ensure that any fines are issued sensibly and given only as a last resort.

For example, if the littering was accidental or the offender is a child, a warning will be given. Offenders will also be given an opportunity to pick up litter to avoid being fined.

The enforcement scheme would initially cover fly-tipping, littering, flyposting, graffiti and disposing of business waste in communal bins illegally.  If successful, it could be extended to address other issues such as dog fouling and littering.

If agreed, a 12 month trial could be up and running early next year.

Councillor Gill Mitchell chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said:  “We all want to be proud of our city but sometimes its appearance is a cause for concern for residents, visitors and those who work here and we are often asked to take a tougher stance around anti-social behaviour such as dropping litter, fly-posting and graffiti.

“The proposed scheme, along with the publicity and education programme, is designed to act as a deterrent and send out a strong message that deliberate anti-social behaviour which blights our city will not be tolerated.” 

The Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) committee meeting is at The Ronuk Hall, Portslade Town Hall on Tuesday, October 13 at 4pm.