Derby City Council’s pledge to tackle littering and fly-tipping is producing results.
In July, we announced how we were increasing efforts to curb this blight on our inner-city communities. With the help of colleagues from Derbyshire Police and the Council’s Streetpride team, our Public Protection Officers have hit the ground running.
In the last month, 35 fixed penalty notices have been issued for littering offences, while a further 386 warnings have been issued requiring households to keep bins and waste off streets.
We have introduced £400 fixed penalty fines for fly tipping offences, which can be reduced to £250 if paid within 10 days. We are also issuing notices to keep bins off streets, which require households to comply within 21 days or face further sanctions.
While these measures have proved initially successful, we recognise that enforcement is only one part of the equation. The Council needs the support of communities to ensure that these early signs of progress turn into long-term improvements for our streets and neighbourhoods.
In recent weeks, I’ve been delighted to see how residents, businesses and community groups in the areas we’ve been targeting have enthusiastically supported our efforts.
We’ve been having more conversations with people on the doorstep about their concerns, signposting people to the appropriate services and taking decisive action where necessary. For example, we’ve recently led efforts to clean up discarded needles and other drug-related paraphernalia from public spaces.
Establishing good channels of communication between the Council, its partners and our residents is crucial if we are to tackle littering and fly-tipping once and for all. I know that the vast majority of residents are proud of their communities and they are disgusted by those who refuse to abide by the standards we would all expect.
As part of our Pledge, the Council will continue to investigate all incidents of fly tipping that are reported to us, but lack of evidence remains a problem for securing successful prosecutions.
The Council is reviewing the measures we can take to increase the reliability of the evidence that is collected, including the use of cameras. If you witness somebody fly-tipping, try to get as much information as possible without putting yourself at risk. This could include the registration of any vehicles involved, the time, location and type of waste, as well as a description of the perpetrators.
We want your help to spread the word. If you choose to litter or fly-tip, then the Council and our partners will take action; you could face a fine or, in extreme cases, even imprisonment.
On a more positive note, we need as many local people as possible to get involved in creating cleaner, safer streets and open spaces. In my role as Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Streetpride, I’m looking for sustainable solutions to the environmental issues that face our communities.
It’s our aim to engage and enable residents to work together to keep their streets clean. So if you have ideas about how you and your neighbours could help, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Council resources are stretched more thinly than ever, but we’ve shown that targeted enforcement activity can make a real difference. If we’re to capitalise on these initial successes, we need the continued support of our communities.
Councillor Asaf Afzal
Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection