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Fly-tipping: London councils increase fines for offence

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Thomas Magill & Liz Jackson,BBC News

BBC Sign warning people not to fly tip in Bexley, with long pile of rubbish behind itBBC

Bexley council is among those to increase its fines for fly-tipping

People in parts of London are being warned to stop fly-tipping, as three councils are increasing fines for the offence.

Tower Hamlets council is more than doubling its fines – with penalties in Bexley set to triple, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Meanwhile Hammersmith & Fulham Council is set to vote on whether to increase fines in the borough.

It comes as three London boroughs, including Tower Hamlets, were recorded as being among those with the biggest rise in fly-tipping in England.

In Bexley, fines will increase to a range between £300 and a maximum of £1,000 depending on the offence.

The council has warned people on its website not to throw recycling on the ground if a recycling bank is full either, “as this will be classed as fly-tipping”.

It also said drivers can be fined £300 if they or their passengers are caught throwing litter out of their car window while driving.

Bexley resident Kym Grant previously told BBC London a road near her south-east London home has been severely affected by the issue.

Kym Grant standing in front of a pile of rubbish including electrical items and tyres

Kym Grant said “every person has got responsibility for where this rubbish is going”

“As children we used to come down here and play,” she said.

“[But now] I’m hoping children don’t come down here because it’s a death trap.

“Especially with these freezers if they shut behind them if they climb into one.

“But also I feel sorry for people that have got their business down here because people don’t want to work down here, and walk down here each day and see all this – it puts them off.”

Images showing a mattress and fridge at the front of a long line of rubbish on a road in Bexley

Bexley council said if an individual pays a company to dispose of rubbish and they do so improperly, the individual can be fined too

Bexley’s cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Richard Diment, said: “We’ve always been clear that we have zero tolerance of fly-tipping and littering and will not hesitate to come down hard on offenders.

“We want Bexley to be a safer, greener place to live in and an attractive place for visitors and businesses to thrive.”

The council has also announced if an individual pays for a company to dispose of waste and they are not licenced, they could be liable for a £500 fine.

Ms Grant said every resident has a part to play in keeping their borough tidy.

“Every person has got responsibility for where this rubbish is going,” she argued.

“You can’t just employ somebody who is cheap, not take their [waste] licence, and then moan about it being brought down here and dumped in the ditches.”

She added: “Cheap isn’t always the best because it could be your rubbish down an alleyway, that’s got your details in it, and then you’ll get fined.”

Additional reporting by Joe Coughlan from the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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