Council set to 'add muscle' in fly-tipping crackdown
- Credit: Rose Sapey
A Norfolk council wants to “add muscle” to crack down on fly-tipping, dog waste and litter.
On Tuesday, South Norfolk Council cabinet agreed to put £50,000 towards hiring a new environmental enforcement officer to help tackle the hundreds of offences committed each year.
The officer would work with enforcement agencies to investigate and help prosecute environmental crimes.
Council leader John Fuller said: “It is important that when we talk about the environment, it isn’t just environmental health. This is about making sure as a whole council that we are looking after “our” environment not just “the” environment."
Council officer Nick Howard highlighted the cost and social impact of fly-tipping.
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He said: “South Norfolk enjoys a really relatively high-quality environment but that means when there’s environmental offending it really stands out.
“There is no victimless crime and environmental crime costs the local authority a lot of money to clean up, it costs our community a lot in terms of the visibility and the impact on their communities.”
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Alongside the officer, the council wants to produce a public campaign, maximise the speed of early detection of incidents and “gathering intelligence and profiling potential offenders for special attention”.
The cabinet agreed to establish a part-time Environmental enforcement officer post, plus a specialist caseworker.
In a bid to tackle flooding issues that blighted the district at the end of last year, the cabinet also agreed to take on a full-time water management officer.
The issue has personally affected cabinet member Alison Thomas, who said she was still unable to return home.
Ms Thomas said: "[The consequence if the council don't do anything] is living out of your home for months with no clear end in sight.
"And thousands of pounds worth of restorative work required."
Mr Fuller said there were important lessons to learn, saying it was a "failure of our ability to look after the environment" that leads to floods.
He added: “It wasn’t just people who live next to the rivers that got affected, it is people who live near pumping stations or people who live along the road, in a high point in Long Stratton.
“It is important that we take into account all these sources of flooding and seek to address them.”
Cabinet members agreed to seek a full-time water management officer.