A woman from Calne has appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court charged with fly-tipping.

In June last year, Wiltshire Council received a complaint that waste had been dumped on the public footpath next to Bank Row in town.

Environmental Officers visted the area and found several shopping bags filled with soiled nappies, food waste, food packaging, cans and other assorted waste. The bags were spilling on to the footpath. 

The officers traced the waste back to Ms Bence, and when interviewed she acknowledged that most of the waste was hers and that she had deposited it on the path.

The investigation showed that she had also received three waste contamination warning tags attached to her bin, a warning letter and visit by a Waste Officer prior to the fly-tipping incident. Ms Bence was issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice (FPN) for depositing the waste on the public footpath, but she failed to pay the fine and this led to the prosecution.

Ms Bence pleaded guilty to fly tipping at court, and was ordered to pay £822.72 in fines, costs and compensation.

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene, said: "We are focused on tackling fly-tipping in Wiltshire, and as part of our Business Plan commitment and our award-winning We're Targeting Fly-tippers (WTF) campaign, we have invested an extra £150,000 a year into tackling environmental crime.

"This investment has so far seen a 125% increase in fly-tipping prosecutions and a 118% increase in fixed penalty notices in the past year, which shows that we will take all legal options available to us wherever we find fly-tipping.

"In this case, the site where Ms Bence dumped her waste was a fly-tipping hotspot and has attracted a number of complaints from local residents, businesses, and the town council over recent years. Had she stored her bins in the correct location after collection and acted on the warnings from our officers, she would not have found herself in this situation. She also had the opportunity to pay a £400 fixed penalty notice and avoid the court action but failed to do so.

"If anyone spots fly-tipping in Wiltshire, I'd urge them to report it to us using MyWilts and our officers will investigate and take action."

This case hit the local and national press in August 2023, when Ms Bence claimed she had been issued the FPN because her recycling bins were full of beer cans deposited by people visiting the Calne bike meet on 29th July 2023, which meant she had to leave waste next to her bins. However, the fly-tipping incident took place on 26th June 2023, and the Calne bike meet was a month later, on 29th July 2023.

To find out how to report fly-tipping in Wiltshire and to report it, plus more about the WTF campaign and how people who report fly-tipping could get a reward, people should go to the Wiltshire Council website.


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