Radio news reader and IT business owner Jeremy Kitt is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Thanet Villages in this May’s district council elections. Here he takes a look at the issue of fly-tipping:
Incidents of people driving down quiet country lanes at the dead of night dumping all manner of commercial and household waste are on the increase. As a candidate for the Thanet Villages I am particularly concerned that we find a better way to protect the green heart of our community.
In the last year alone there were nearly 20,000 recorded incidents of fly-tipping in Kent. In 2017, Thanet District Council spent £109,550 cleaning up after fly-tippers, that’s money that should have been spent on local services.
The recent decision by Kent County Council to start charging for the disposal of non-household waste at local recycling centres means that this problem is only likely to get worse.
So what has gone wrong? The current system of fines is totally inadequate. A recent serial offender, who even advertised his services on Facebook, was sentenced to 150 hours’ unpaid work, with a fine of only £627 plus £120 legal costs. That is hardly a deterrent.
Yes, we should increase the fines for serial offenders, but that is not enough. Surely prevention is better than cure? We need to educate the offenders so that they learn to take some pride in their community.
We can only promote civic pride by making Thanet a better place to live, by investing in our parks, bridle paths, cycle paths, footpaths and green spaces.
Every single resident of Thanet should feel that they are a warden, protecting the place. After all, this is the place where our children grow up, and the place where we all live. We need to change the mentality – you wouldn’t tip rubbish in your own home, so why would you tip it in your own backyard?
In the real world those who fly tip could not give a fig about the environment all they are interested in is saving themselves the cost of having to pay to dump the rubbish or they are just too lazy to go to the proper place to dispose of it. The Conservatives spending cuts and grab-all-give-nothing-back mentality has a lot to answer for.
It should be free to take rubbish to the tip. It should all be sorted out as to what can be recycled and what can be sold on like scrap metal timber could be tuned into saw dust blocks and sold as fuel. Those who sort the rubbish should be those who have been sentenced by the courts to work unpaid for X number of hours as a form of payback for committing petty crime. There should also be a surveillance team to catch fly tippers, once convicted they should be fined £1000 minimum and the vehicle disposed of.
There is no deterrent anymore. Criminals are not afraid of community sentences and minuscule fines. Rather than community sentences we should be building more prisons. Society is out of control and liberal sentencing is the the problem.
The poor police catch the scum only for the courts to basically let them off, no wonder criminals now laugh in the face of the police.
It’s not liberal sentencing which is the problem but the damage caused to Britain by globalization of industry. That is the reason why employers move their businesses abroad leaving previously employed communities without work. Education has been underfunded for years, there are few apprenticeship schemes, public services are being increasingly cut. No wonder that crime is increasing.
The judiciary is not the part of society you should be blaming.
The council deterent on fly-tipping, fly-posting is zero. Last friday a saw a man remove furniture from his green renault megane car and fly-tip onto a street corner in Cliftonville not far from a CCTV camera. I tried to report it through the normal channels but nobody was answering the phone which eventually cut of after so long. On explaining this on a follow up call again put through to a non-answered line. I found an email address for Anti-social behaviour and left my message but had no response to it. What is the point of the Council having Enforcement Officers when you cannot get to report problems to them. We need mobile numbers to the officers themselves.
Kent and TDC should hang their heads in shame,their latest piece of idiocy to charge four pounds for a bag of rubble will lead to massive fly tipping.
Just think how popular they could be by fly tipping their plans for a 3 million pound palace to house their bloated staff numbers.