Litter and fly-tipping is blighting communities across Wearside and Labour councillors are taking the wrong approach by complaining about funding for collection instead of fining and prosecuting offenders like other councils such as Newcastle.
Using taxpayers’ money to collect other people’s rubbish is a waste of resources and will just perpetuate the problem as offenders realise they can dump rubbish, escape punishment and rely on the council to clean up the mess.
It is unfair on the majority of people in the city who keep their neighbourhoods tidy and pay for collection of bulky items, only to see their Council Tax being used to take away other people’s rubbish, which has been dumped irresponsibly.
Other councils have moved on from educating people about responsible waste disposal and started a more aggressive programme of fining and prosecuting to deter the worst offenders.
In the past three years, Newcastle City Council’s enforcement team have completed 596 prosecutions and issued 818 Fixed Penalty Notices for litter and fly-tipping, the second highest number of prosecutions in the UK.
During this time, Sunderland issued only 30 fixed penalty notices and no prosecutions, instead spending thousands to clear rubbish with streets such as Villette Road having to be cleaned every day. The legislation allowing councils to do this has existed for years but Labour councillors have dragged their heals, as they have also done on disabled parking badges, and failed to implement a scheme and pursue wrongdoers leaving the city in a right mess.
Councillor Robert Oliver,
St Michael’s Ward