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News In Brief 06/01/2017

Conviction for illegal waste storage sees Welsh skip firm’s vehicle licence revoked

Welsh skip firm T J’s Skip Hire Ltd, operating out of Deeside and Bagillt, has lost its vehicle licence after the company was found to no longer be reputable by the Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Nick Jones.

The decision was made following a public inquiry held on 15 December 2016 at Welshpool Law Courts, compounding a miserable few months for the company which was also fined £20,000 in August 2016 for illegally storing waste at its Deeside base.

In a written decision issued after the hearing, Nick Jones remarked: "The most serious aspect of this case is the fact that in an endeavour to save monies the operator chose to store waste illegally at its operating centre. Issues of both public health and fair competition arise as a result of this."

He added that it was in the public interest to revoke the firm's licence. Government inspectors also reported issues with the company’s vehicle maintenance, with one vehicle being stopped with all ten wheel nuts loose, leaving a high risk that the wheel could detach.

A last minute attempt was made to surrender the licence following the company’s acceptance of the failings identified by Jones, but this was rejected so that he could take ‘proportionate regulatory action’.


Jail warning for fly-tipper caught dumping three tonnes of waste in Croydon

A fly-tipper caught on CCTV dumping three tonnes of rubble, wood, and other building waste from his flat bed truck in an alleyway in South Croydon has been told he faces jail.

George Smith was convicted on Wednesday (5 January) at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court of the dumping off Campden Road, two other incidences of fly-tipping in South Croydon, and one in Thornton Heath, all between 12 February and 11 April 2016. He was also found guilty of failing to respond to a notice under section 108 of the Environment Act.

The prosecution, which also saw his abandoned Ford Transit and a second vehicle seized by the council – both of which will be crushed after sentencing – was led by Croydon Council.

Smith told the court that the waste had been dumped by someone else using duplicate number plates on both Ford Transit vehicles, while admitting to one count of operating without a trade waste licence. He told the court that the Environment Agency had barred him from holding a waste carrying licence for over ten years.

Smith will be sentenced on 25 January and District Judge Karen Hammond said that she could not rule out a custodial sentence. Councillor Stuart Collins, Deputy Leader of Clean Green Croydon, said: “Of all the offenders we've prosecuted so far under our Don’t Mess With Croydon campaign, this was the most shameless.

News In Brief 06/01/2017
George Smith

“Fly-tipping is ugly, expensive to clear and blights communities in Croydon and across the UK, and other offenders need to know they can face jail for crimes like this. This prosecution is another excellent result from our dedicated council officers who will continue to catch and prosecute the worst offenders.”

The case is the council’s 127th successful prosecution under its Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign, which combines enforcement with community engagement.

To read more about Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride, visit the council’s dedicated webpage.


Couple fined for ‘appalling’ condition of unauthorised scrapyard

A couple that used the backyard of their East Sussex property to unlawfully store scrap metal, waste and cars have been landed with a court bill of more than £4,000.

John Mallows, 66, and his wife June, 65, both from Hailsham near Eastbourne, denied that they had been in breach of a planning notice issued in December 2014 prohibiting them from using the property for scrap storage but despite initially complying with the notice, they soon lapsed back into the activities which prompted court action.

News In Brief 06/01/2017
An unwanted car in the Mallows' backyard

The couple were found guilty in a trial at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court last month (9 December) and sentenced to a joint fine of £2,000, with an additional £2,250 in court costs and a £200 victim surcharge to pay also.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport and environment, said: “The condition of the area at the rear of the property, which is within a residential area, was appalling and prompted numerous complaints to be made to the council.”


North Lincolnshire Council seeks ‘heroes’ for Great British Spring Clean

North Lincolnshire Council is calling communities in the area to get involved in Britain’s biggest ever litter campaign, the Great British Spring Clean (3 to 5 March 2017).

The inaugural campaign aims to get half a million people onto the streets to clean up their communities and foster community spirit in what organisers hope will become an annual event in the fight against litter – a huge problem that harms the environment and costs councils in England £700 million a year to clear up.

The Council is asking local residents, community groups, charities, businesses and local councils to get involved and double the 200 people that joined in with the ‘Clean for the Queen’ campaign in March 2016.

News In Brief 06/01/2017

The campaign is being led by Keep Britain Tidy and is being backed by TV wildlife presenter and children’s favourite Steve Backshall as well as a number of anti-litter charities such as Keep Wales Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Marine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage.

Cllr Neil Poole, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Great British Spring Clean and we are encouraging as many groups, individuals and organisations as possible to take part in the clean-up weekend.

“Our officers do a great job of litter picking in North Lincolnshire, however it is a constant battle with people dropping litter on a daily basis. Part of this campaign is also about getting people to dispose of their litter properly.”

To take part in the Great British Spring Clean, you can register online on its website.

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