December 13 2013 Latest news:
Public affairs correspondent
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Questions have been asked over whether £80 fines will ever be issued to people who refuse to move their wheelie bins, after it emerged the city council has still not wielded the power.
Norwich City Council introduced wheelie bins for recycling and waste back in 2008 and, while the move has increased recycling rates, critics say the bins make streets look unsightly.
Under the Environmental Protection Act, the council can serve a notice requiring people to ensure their wheelie bins are not placed out for collection earlier than 6pm the day before their scheduled collection and that they are returned to within the boundary of their property before 9am the day after collection.
Those who do not obey can be slapped with an £80 fine, but, although the council has sent warning letters to people on a number of city streets, they have yet to issue any fines.
And Green councillors have questioned what the point is of threatening the fines, if the council is so reluctant to follow through.
Ash Haynes, Green city councillor for Town Close ward, raised the issue at a recent council meeting, where she asked how many people had been fined.
Paul Kendrick, Labour cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “The city council has never issued a fixed penalty notice to a resident for leaving bins on the pavement.
“I recognise that bins left on the street for a long period can cause frustration and annoyance at a local level. In seeking to address this, the council, like most other local authorities, has adopted the approach of working with local residents to find a solution.”
Ms Haynes said she had been told the council had no plan to ever issue a fixed penalty notice, to which Mr Kendrick replied that it was a power the council could use.
He added: “The council is currently trialling neighbourhood agreements with our residents in the Arlington area of the city [the area around Essex Street, Mount Pleasant, Unthank Road and Newmarket Road].
“Bins on streets was one of the major topics that was highlighted as an area of concern.
“By working with our residents and our waste collection contractor, early indications are that we have significantly reduced the amount of bins being left permanently on the streets.
“We will continue to monitor and where there are persistent issues, officers will follow up.”