Ealing Council Does U-Turn On Rubbish Fines
But opponents accuse them of incompetence after contractor's actions
Ealing Council has been accused of incompetence after contractors issued fines to a woman who poured coffee down the drain, and another who left additional recycling outside her own home.
Sue Peckitt was given the penalty notice outside Ealing Broadway station in November by Kingdom - the enforcement company employed by the council.
Despite appealing the fine wasn't revoked at the time, but following recent publicity the council has apologised and said the money would be refunded.
In a separate incident Liz Jenner in Hanwell was shocked to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice accusing her of fly-tipping after leaving additional recycling next to her blue bin after the Christmas holidays.
She too has had the notice revoked and been sent an ' unreserved' apology from the council. An enforcement officer from Kingdom also apologised saying it was a 'one-off' and the officer who issued the fine had been spoken to and made aware of the rules regarding extra recycling.
Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Gary Malcolm said, '' "Ealing Council should put more effort into targeting those that are causing the bigger problems or those who are multiple offenders and not those dropping small items like coffee cups. Ealing Council has a habit when hiring companies of not being very good at monitoring what their contractors are doing. Liberal Democrats say that if they did a better job then our streets would be cleaner."
Conservative Leader Councillor Greg Stafford, '' This recent example highlights the incompetency at the very top of the Labour tree. Kingdom should not solely be blamed for the Council’s ill-conceived instructions clearly aimed at the soft-targets.
''Only the Labour Administration would think it is acceptable to fine residents for leaving extra recycling outside their home or pouring coffee down a drain whilst allowing major fly-tippers to escape punishment. But then again, this is a Labour Administration who decided to pay their waste and recycling contractor millions more, to do fewer collections and less cleaning; that money needs to be made back somehow.''
A council spokesperson said, ''Residents want us to keep the borough clean and support our efforts to tackle litter louts and fly-tippers. The vast majority of fines are correctly issued, but unfortunately in these two cases officers made an error of judgement. We have now cancelled the fines, apologised to the residents and asked Kingdom to remind all staff of the common sense approach we expect.''
18 January 2017