Headlines: January 12th, 2007

TRAINING SCHEME TO HELP AUTHORITIES TACKLE FLY-TIPPING

 

A special training scheme has been set up to help local authorities in Wales deal with the problem of illegal tipping, which is estimated to cost councils there more than two million pounds a year. The programme has been developed by the Welsh Assembly Government, DEFRA, the Environment Agency and the Welsh Local Government Association.

The training is being launched in response to concerns raised by councils that they did not have the capacity to deal with fly-tipping. FlyCapture, a national database recording illegal tipping incidents in England and Wales, estimates that dealing with fly-tipping cost local authorities in Wales 2.4 million pounds in the 12 months to March last year.

The FlyCapture Enforcement programme has been designed for local authority enforcement and legal staff and offers specialist training on the range of powers available to councils for investigating and prosecuting fly-tipping offences and how those powers can be used. The Assembly Government is making a grant of 44,000 pounds available to help local authorities meet the costs of the training. Local authority waste managers, lawyers who prosecute illegal tippers or flytipping enforcement officers can register their interest in the training by e-mailing Flycapture.enforcement@encams.org.

Alongside the new course, a pilot scheme is being set up in South West Wales to help private landowners with the costs of clearing up illegally dumped rubbish. Money will be made available through the scheme to landowners where their land provides a benefit to the local community, such as sports clubs or voluntary groups. The pilot will be administered by Keep Wales Tidy and cover Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Bridgend, Ceredigion and Neath Port Talbot. It will run until March and will then be evaluated before any decision is taken about extending the idea.

Welsh Assembly Environment Minister Carwyn Jones said fly-tipping was a blight on the local environment, and, at worst, could cause serious pollution. “Supporting the FlyCapture training programme will help local authorities to investigate incidents and prosecute offenders more effectively; sending the clear message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated,” he said.