FLY-TIPPERS have been warned their actions will not be tolerated in the town as the council toughens up on the issue.

The Labour-run council’s cabinet approved setting the fixed penalty notice (FPN) amount for an offence to £400 at its Town Hall meeting on Monday.

However, it will be reduced to £300 if paid within 10 days.

The rate aims to reflect the ‘harm’ caused by fly-tipping, as well as the ‘true cost’ to the authority of investigating such incidents.

Cllr Judith Guthrie, cabinet member for environment and public protection, told members prosecutions for fly-tipping are ‘quite a costly process’ and the ability to use FPNs provides an opportunity to deal with it in a more cost effective manner.

“It’s necessary to have this FPN in place to make sure our streets are clean and to maintain safe neighbourhoods for all our residents,” she said.

“It’s hoped that the introduction of such a fine will deter people from fly-tipping and I know this is dear to a lot of residents’ hearts.

“We have evidence that unscrupulous waste operators fly-tip to gain financial gain and we do urge residents to check licences of such operators before giving them their waste to dispose of.”

Members were also told perpetrators can face a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison on conviction for the most serious offences.

Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community, said the £400 penalties deliver a ‘clear message’ that fly-tipping will not be tolerated in the borough.

“Fly-tipping is the absolute blight of our communities,” he added.