Call for fines for people who leave wheelie bins on pavements for too long
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Not one person has been fined for leaving their wheelie bins out on Norwich's pavements for too long - but there are calls for that to change.
Norwich City Council brought in wheelie bins for recycling and waste back in 2008.
And, under the Environmental Protection Act, the council can issue notices to people who place bins out for collection earlier than 6pm the night before their scheduled collection or who fail to put it back on their property by 9am the day after collection.
Those who do not obey can be fined £80, but the city council has never issued such a fine, which was criticised by Green city councillor Paul Neale at a City Hall meeting this week.
Mr Neale, who represents Nelson ward, said: "Bins left permanently on pavements are creating problems for residents in my ward. Apart from looking unsightly. wheeled bins can block safe routes for pedestrians, particularly those with young children or disabilities."
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But Kevin Maguire, Labour's cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment, defended the lack of such fines, saying the council's preferred approach was to educate people.
He said: "Whenever the council receives complaints concerning wheelie bins being permanently left out and stored on the pavement these will be addressed by officers from the area management team.
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"The team will also address such issues when they come across them as part of their day-to-day work.
"It is always the case that the most successful route to promoting positive behavioural change is to engage with residents by providing information and education as required.".
Mr Neale said he understood that council staff had been told not to issue them, due to the cost of enforcement. He said the fines should serve as a deterrent.
Mr Maguire did not address the claim that council staff had been told not to issue fines, but said: "Quite honestly, the idea that going in heavy and putting the boot in would have the best effect is Dickensian, at best."
He added: "There is no body of evidence to support enforcement via fixed penalty notices is a successful 'cure' for the issue of bins left on pavements.
"The root cause is normally a combination of carelessness, forgetfulness and the distractions of everyday life."