The so-called Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan increased maximum on-the-spot fines for fly-tipping from £400 to £1,000 and littering from £150 to £500. While these new powers are most welcome, some might say they don’t go far enough.
Throughout my election campaign, I highlighted the ongoing problem of fly-tipping and littering, particularly in my own ward of West Bank.
I get a steady flow of complaints each week from my constituents rightly sick to death of the inconsiderate yobs who think it’s perfectly acceptable to dump their filth on our streets.
In the last few weeks alone, I’ve had complaints of:
Repeated fly-tipping of furniture on Hareholme Street and Titchfield Street;
Household waste being dumped in the alleyway between Broomhill Lane and Albion Street;
Drug paraphernalia, dog mess, condoms and broken glass across the ward, including on children’s play areas on both Chesterfield Road South and Haddon Road.
I pass these reports on to Mansfield Council’s street-cleaning team who, to be fair, are always extremely expeditious and efficient.
While we have to commend their commitment and effort, we should also not lose sight that these clean-up operations come at a direct expense to Mansfield council tax payers. That makes me extremely angry.
Local residents should not have to foot the bill to clean up after a small minority of scruffy louts who seemingly have no problem with living in their own filth and turning our area into a dump.
Over the weekend, a few delicate souls kicked up a fuss after I called fly-tippers “scruffy morons”. I was called “unkind and disrespectful” and asked to apologise. My view is simple – the people who are unkind and disrespectful are those that leave their muck for others to clean up at the expense of local residents. If anyone thinks I’m going to apologise to them, they’ve got another thing coming.
We as a community need to do more to tackle this ongoing problem. Where possible, I’d like to see CCTV cameras covering fly-tipping hotspots.
Frequent offenders should be prosecuted with the full force of the law.
In an ideal world, I’d love to see them fined, named and shamed, and then forced to do unpaid community service – i.e. litter picking and graffiti cleaning – across Mansfield, so they can appreciate the fantastic job our street -cleaning team do.
I encourage all local residents to keep an eye out and report any incidents of fly-tipping and littering to the council. Take photos, videos, and record dates and times. The council will do everything it can to tackle this problem. Let’s keep Mansfield clean, and not allow a few mindless scruffs ruin it for the rest of us.