Possible increase in fines welcomed

Angus South MSP Graeme Dey has welcomed the possibility of fines for littering and fly tipping being increased as part of efforts to tackle the issue.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead unveiled plans on Tuesday for a consultation on Scotland’s first national strategy – which will include the subject of raising the fixed penalty notices for litter and fly tipping from their present £50 level. Mr Dey, who serves as depute convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee, welcomed both the consultation, which will be launched in the summer, and this specific measure.

Speaking at a litter summit in Edinburgh Mr Lochhead stated: “I want our national litter strategy to achieve a clean, safe environment for people who live in and visit Scotland where littering is no longer acceptable. The strategy we consult on will be a package of measures to encourage people not to litter or flytip. Litter costs local authorities, transport providers and other businesses millions to clean up, and we all pay for it. We can each take personal responsibility for disposing of waste responsibly and avoid this unnecessary and expensive eyesore. I encourage councils and the police to use their existing powers to issue litter and flytipping FPNs (fixed penalty notices) and I will consult on whether it would be helpful if the level was raised from £50.

“Over the next few months we will work with local authorities and others to identify what the consultation should propose.”

Mr Dey, who only last week highlighted the blight of litter and fly-tipping in his own constituency, said: “Littering isn’t just unacceptable from an aesthetic point of view, it also drains local government’s financial resources dealing with it and in many cases is a waste of recyclable materials. I’m pleased the Government is putting together a national litter strategy and one which may involve raising the level of fines for those caught dropping litter or fly-tipping because having an enhanced level of deterrent in place must have a part to play in tackling this issue.”