The CLA brought together the chair of the Efra Select Committee, a former Environment Secretary and other MPs and Peers this week for a roundtable discussion with Environment Minister Therese Coffey on fly-tipping.
CLA President Tim Breitmeyer told Environment Minister Therese Coffey that farmers and landowners suffer a double injustice when their land is fly-tipped being both a victim and a potential criminal if the fly-tipped waste is not cleared. He asked for the minister to consider relevant sentencing for perpetrators and called for the UK Government to introduce – or at least pilot – a ticketing system that would allow private landowners to remove waste dumped on their land and take it to a local council tip free of charge.
Mark Mills-Bishop, who leads on fly-tipping for the Local Government Association, said he supported much of the CLA’s five-point action plan published in August last year.
Dr Coffey said: “I appreciate the difficulty and financial burden that fly-tipping poses to landowners, which is why tackling waste crime is a priority for this government.
“We have given local authorities in England the power to issue fixed penalty notices for small-scale fly-tipping, and have worked with the Sentencing Council to strengthen guidelines for environmental offences”.
However, she said Defra has no plans to introduce a scheme that would allow private landowners to remove waste dumped on their land for free at council waste recycling centres.
She said: “I think the concern about providing free clear-up is that just gives more incentive to more illegal dumping and aspects like that, and reducing incentives for landowners to protect their land.”
Neil Parish, Chair of the Efra Select Committee committed to holding a short inquiry and publishing a report to present to Government on the issue with help from the CLA.
He said: “There is a limited amount of what landowners can do in the face of lorry loads of waste and without spoiling the countryside that we try to look after.”
Former Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the countryside was being turned into a fortress by landowners trying to protect their property. She sees education as the way forward with householders made an example of to reduce domestic waste being handed over to illegal waste carriers.