‘No excuse’ for waste crime

The dumped waste in Cobbs Brow Lane
The dumped waste in Cobbs Brow Lane

Residents are being warned by council chiefs that fly-tipping is a criminal offence no matter what the circumstances.

This message is being issued after Up Holland man Peter Hornby was fined £500 and ordered to pay £766 costs and a £50 victim surcharge at Wigan Magistrates’ Court for dumping waste on Cobbs Brow Lane, Newburgh.

The hearing was told that the 55-year-old had been asked to clear his father-in-law’s flat following his death and became upset after being told he could not use the tip as he didn’t have a permit. He told justices his emotions were “up the wall” and apologised for leaving the 460kg of waste - including carpets and a zimmer frame - at the roadside.

Hornby, of Tower Hill Road, pleaded guilty.

A proportion of the fine will reimburse West Lancashire District Council for the clean-up effort.

The hearing was told West Lancshire Council sympathised with the defendant’s situation but “there is no excuse” for fly-tipping.

Hornby, who represented himself, said: “I had to get everything out of my father-in-law’s flat because it was sheltered accommodation and they needed it clearing as soon as possible.”

And Dave Tilleray, the council’s environmental enforcement team head, said: “There may be sad circumstances around this case but fly-tipping is still illegal and creates an eyesore on our local environment. The council taxpayer has to foot the bill for clearing it up.

“The council must enforce the law to protect the environment for all local residents. I would remind all householders – and businesses – that they should dispose of their waste correctly. If they do not they could face legal action.”

Problems with fly-tipping in West Lancashire can be reported 24 hours a day at www.westlancs.gov.uk/flytipping. Alternatively ring 01695 577177 weekdays between 8.30am and 5.30pm.