Council will not enforce Edgar Road flytip penalty after concerns raised over man’s vulnerability

Enforcement teams are following several investigations

A council penalty issued to a man caught dumping piles of furniture and rubbish into resident bins in Cliftonville will not be enforced after it emerged the man is vulnerable.

The £400 penalty notice was issued by Thanet council’s enforcement team after the man was caught on CCTV leaving the waste in Edgar Road. The paladin bins are for residents in the area and not outside use.

But, a reader alerted The Isle of Thanet News that the man has Downs Syndrome and would have been unlikely to have realised he was breaking any rules. They said it was possible he had been taken advantage of.

We contacted Thanet council and after a short investigation by the enforcement team the authority confirmed the penalty would not be enforced and the flytip investigation would be taken in a different direction.

Enforcement action follows complaints from residents in nearby Athelstan Road who are also experiencing flytipping and over-flowing rubbish at the paladin bins either end of the street.

They say trade waste and rubbish from those who are not residents is part of the cause of regular rubbish spillage and overflowing waste. The bins are for resident use, not general public waste.

The Athelstan Road Tenants and Residents Association is campaigning for removal of the bins in favour of using the street’s rear gardens, which all back onto the unmaintained alleyways, which were the Victorian solution to storing and collecting the street’s rubbish and which are wide enough for a vehicle as wide as a Ford Transit van.

Ward councillors Alan Currie and Heather Keen have been in discussions with council staff about tackling the problem. Streetscene enforcement staff have put signs in place warning of hefty fines for fly tipping and stickers have also been used stating the bins are for bagged domestic waste only after complaints of trade waste being dumped at the site.

Thanet council says the Street Scene Enforcement team is endeavouring to focus on the paladin bins at specific areas to “try and educate, enforce and deter against daily abuse.”

The team has initiated a crack down on those using the resident bins as a dumping ground and is investigating several incidents.


These include the dumping of commercial waste in Athelstan Road on Monday (July 6).


The team is also investigating trade waste dumped in Edgar Road today.


  1. In what way was this man vulnerable to warrant this different action?

    Justification needs to be seen or else many other excuses will soon emerge when caught.

    • It says in the article. He has Down’s Syndrome. Someone may have taken advantage of him to get him to dump the rubbish for them.

  2. So any vulnerable person had just been given permission to flout the law . Plain stupid….rules apply to them just as much as anyone else and the enforecement should stand.

    • Not enough enforcement officers

      So everyone can use the bins

      Come on what’s the point in the law if you don’t follow through vulnerable or not he knew what he was doing end of

      Get a grip or let’s sack enforcement

      Do your jobs

  3. So TDC fine a man £400 for putting rubbish in a rubbish bin. However someone else who is said to be “ Vulnerable“ and has learning difficulties can throw rubbish on the street and get away with it Scott free. He has clearly learned how to play the system with the help of those around him.

  4. Now I know, if I am ever caught dropping litter, all I have to say is that I was vulnerable, because I had a few drinks the night before, and was still under the influence.

    • Did you read the article? The chap has Down’s Syndrome and so may be considered vulnerable in terms of learning disability, considerably different to having a hangover

      • Yes, I read the article, it’s just a shame, that some people are a little slow at understanding a joke.

        • Its not funny, you are not funny. Making some obnoxious comment and passing it off as a joke is the hallmark of racists, sexists and every other ratbag who thinks its ‘funny’ to pass of an obnoxious comment and then try to retract it as funny, when challenged. Next thing you will say that you have lots of friends who have Downs syndrome!

  5. Well there we have it. Any TDC enforcement action whether it be for littering, fly tipping, parking, not paying your Council Tax etc now has a nice exemption applied to it. Claim that you are vulnerable and enforcement action will be reversed.

    Wonder if TDC are aware of what a can of worms they have opened with this. What an utter joke they are.

    • I agree, or would if we had an idea of why he was considered vulnerable. Simple enough request, and don’t tell me he was depressed or similar!

    • Indeed, it sounds like this guy has possibly been taken advantage of by other adults-maybe he has been cuckooed? Or perhaps in these crazy times we live in he has become totally confused, the chap has down’s syndrome-this means people with it have learning difficulties0often very severe, both short & long term memory issues & issues with language. Some understanding & compassion wouldn’t go amiss in this case.

  6. Thank you Steve & every one else who does not want to to see this poor lad dragged through the courts & fined £400 of cause it was right decision but this seems much to the dismay of others & some of the comments on this are outrageous they clearly don’t have any understanding with special needs people or anything else that they post about on here, these people really need to shut their mouths & think about things before commenting, or perhaps you are all so full of it & can only see things your way because your the only one that matter & are all just so important & clever with your answers for everything…. well you’ve really out done yourselves this time & should be ashamed of yourselves & i think banned from further comments… My special needs boys are worth far more than any of you & quite often they make more sense than the relentis dribble you all post on this forum.

    • All very well and good, yet given the ongoing saga of mess and rubbish dumping in cliftonville, when tdc finally identifies someone considered worthy of imposing a penalty upon it then decides not to do so on the grounds of vulnerability. Not knowing the full details of what occured its difficult to know if its a valid decision. But it sets the scene for future failings to prosecute on grounds of being unable to read, learning difficulties, being a recent arrival or english being a second language etc etc.
      Whilst its all very well shouting out for equal treatment etc when it suits as ever with rights come responsibilities. Many of us are expected to deal with the actions of the minority.

      TDC already fiddle the figures with parking enforcement in that their officers are instructed not to issue tickets if they are likely to be unenforceable or if it may put the officer in a dangerous situation, so instantly tickets are not issued to travellers or foreign regustered vehicles in most cases. On top of that its recorded as a poor performance indicator if officers issue too many unenforceable tickets.
      A very convenient way of making it look as is they get it right all the time.

      • That TDC have stated their investigation has not been closed, but rather gone in a different direction indicates this gentleman was likely being taken advantage of.

        These things will be dealt with on a case by case basis & does not set a precedent in any way-claiming English is not your first language is not a valid excuse-it doesn’t stop people from paying their bills, buying things in shops etc. There is a huge difference between the comprehension level of somebody with Downs and somebody with say dyslexia or mild autism.

  7. Steve you may have point there. There is a flat bed truck going around THANET with 3 persons in it, one of them is a Down’s syndrome man he walks along the pavement ringing a bell and calling out, whilst the other 2 stay in the truck until they stop to collect and old washing machine or whatever. God knows how far the man walks in a day.

    • Disgusting, sounds like it probably is this gentleman & hopefully these lowlifes exploiting the vulnerable for commercial gain would be caught & dealt with.

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