DOWN Councillors Cadogan Enright and Billy Walker are running a campaign to tighten up council policy on prosecutions on fly-tipping or dumping of household waste in public areas.
Councillor Cadogan Enright said that “council staff work hard to get prosecutions but hare hampered by poor regulations and legislative support, we will be working together to remedy this problem”.
DUP councillor Billy Walker said “council staff are being forced to use video cameras to prove that certain individuals are fly-tipping, and while I welcome their efforts in this regard, we need to make the prosecution process simpler for our dedicated employees in Down District Council.”
Cllr Enright agreed and said that “We need a cheaper more effective process to pursue prosecutions. Cllr Walker and I feel that 3 steps are necessary;
1. Harden council policy on prosecutions within the existing guidelines.
2. Explore how we as a council can use the public deterrent value of prosecutions more effectively.
3. What legislative changes would need to be made to give the council the power to prosecute if litter is found that is identifiable with a single person, and have the council seek these changes.”
Councillor Enright expressed disappointment that a recent case of fly-tipping household rubbish in Drumaness did not result in a prosecution, given the evidence collected by council officials.
DUP Cllr Walker supported his colleague, and said “we are handing over Hospital Records that we have collected from this same source today to council officials, and are formally asking them to reconsider their decision not to prosecute in this case”.
Cllr Enright pointed out that this issue was not a problem in the Republic. He had been advised by the Green Party Minister for the Environment in Dublin there that they have changed the law in the Republic some years ago there to say that a householder must only give their rubbish to a recognised waste disposal company, thus if their litter is found outside of this loop they are liable to prosecution with minimum effort for the county council involved.
Cllr Enright concluded that “The Litter Pollution Acts, as they are known in the South, clearly demonstrate that we can deal effectively with this issue with a simple change to regulation, and Cllr Walker and I intend to campaign to have this area changed to simplify the prosecution process for council officials in Northern Ireland in dealing with people who dump their household rubbish in public places.”