The Camden New Journal published the below letter from me about the soaring levels of fly-tipping and littering in Camden and calling once again for a doubling of fines for fly-tipping, as I have been calling for for well over a year.
I was shocked to see the doubling of fly-tipping and seven-fold increase of littering in the borough in the last year, uncovered by my colleague Henry Newman and covered in last week’s CNJ.
But I was even more shocked to see Camden’s Cabinet member for waste collection haughtily dismiss the surge, rather than resolving to do anything about it.
He said that highlighting Camden’s failures to keep streets clean – ever since it slashed many residents’ waste collections to once a fortnight – somehow fails to make fly-tippers responsible for their actions.
But this would be the same Cabinet member that steadfastly refuses to use his powers to impose proper fines on fly-tippers.
Right now, Camden imposes £200 on-the-spot fines for the tiny fraction of fly-tippers that are caught, whereas almost every other borough imposes £400 fines. Labour have made Camden a soft touch, so it’s no surprise fly-tipping and littering is on the rise.
In fact, Labour had no interest whatsoever in using its power to levy fines on fly-tippers until I pushed them into doing so in 2016: a policy the Cabinet member at the time derided as my ‘big stick’, before then adopting it. And now it seems they will have to be pushed again to impose real fines that provide a real deterrent.
Fortunately, so long as Camden has Conservative councillors, it will have a strong opposition needed to come up with the policies to clean up the mess Labour have made of our streets.