We’re taking environmental crime seriously

back street. ''rossparry.co.uk / Steven Schofield
back street. ''rossparry.co.uk / Steven Schofield
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I write in reply to a letter “Let’s clean up our streets”, I’d like to assure the writer, and other residents, that’s exactly what Burnley Council is doing.

I’d also like to thank her for reporting the dirty back street to us and I’d encourage others to do the same. The council wants to work with residents to keep their neighbourhoods clean and catch those that would spoil our borough for everyone.

The council is proactive in tackling environmental offences. We have a zero tolerance approach to all environmental crimes, whether it is dog fouling, littering, fly tipping or incorrectly disposing of waste. Tackling such problems, which spoil the quality of life for all residents, has been a top priority for the council for many years – with positive results.

Burnley Council is the second most effective authority in the country in terms of prosecuting fly-tippers. Overall, during 2013, we successfully took more than 200 prosecutions to court for environmental crimes, ranging from fly tipping, and incorrect disposal of waste or failing to keep land clear from fly tipped items. The council also issued more than 250 fixed penalty notices for dog fouling offences – more than all of our neighbours (Hyndburn, Rossendale, Pendle) combined.

Let me give you a brief example of our strong, proactive approach. Two weeks ago, the council took a case to the courts regarding fly tipping. We received a complaint regarding fly tipping in the rear yard of an empty property in Albert Street, Burnley. An investigation was launched and evidence pointed to the house next door. The case went to court and magistrates found the neighbour guilty for failing to dispose of waste correctly and they were fined.

We accept there is more to do. The council takes all reports of environmental crime seriously. If anyone has information about those responsible for fly-tipping or dog fouling I would urge them to report it to the council by phoning 425011 or online via our website www.burnley.gov.uk so we can take the appropriate action.

Joanne Swift

Head of Streetscene, Burnley Council