Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7
Councillor Jermy had carried out a tour of his ward and noted 20 incidents of fly-tipping. He noted that fly-tipping was in the increase not only in quantity, but also in volume. He asked the Executive Member of Place how many people across the District had been prosecuted for fly-tipping over the last 12 months, and if it was a low figure what actions would be taken to address the fly-tipping issues.
The Executive Member of Place said there had been no prosecutions over the last 12 months. The difficulty was in obtaining evidence and if anyone had such evidence he asked that it be provided to enable Breckland to carry out the prosecutions. In the meantime, if fly-tipping had been reported it would be cleared by Breckland. He added that the new glutton machine (a large vacuum cleaner), had been purchased which enabled access to small alleyways and corners to help clean up areas within the towns.
The Leader of the Council felt that consideration should be given to the root cause and whilst prosecution would act as a deterrent it could be hard to prove that a fly-tip had taken place. He believed the onus was on everyone to tackle the problem head-on.
Councillor Clarke also asked the Executive Member of Place what steps were in place to ensure that it was easy for residents to report fly-tipping. It was confirmed that the ‘Report it’ function was available on the website for residents to report issues of fly-tipping.
Councillor Joel highlighted that more shops and banks were closing in the market towns across the District and asked the Leader of the Council if Breckland were considering consultation with Landlords to discuss what would happen with those sites. The Leader explained how the Council could use local intelligence from ward members and Town Councils to discuss and share issues within the Towns, and would do all it could to use the Market Town Initiative to assist the towns.
Councillor Brindle said that following the bank holiday weekend, additional rubbish had been discarded in Thetford as the bins were too full. He asked the Executive Member of Place what efforts were being made to ensure the responsibilities of Serco were carried out, in particular picking up litter before the grass is cut, and for the Bank holidays that additional areas for rubbish could be considered. The Executive Member for Place said that collecting the litter before cutting the grass had been raised before, and should be happening, but if this was not the case it should be reported. In addition he would ensure that their responsibilities would be met in a proper fashion. The Leader added that again, it was important to understand why individuals simply dumped the rubbish for others to collect, and felt that further education was needed to stop residents littering.
Councillor Crawford added the litter pick recently held in Thetford had been successful and asked if the Council would be advertising future dates for litter-picking. It was confirmed by the Executive Member for Place that all future dates of litter picks would be advertised on the Council’s website.
Councillor R Richmond asked the Executive Member for Growth that following the recent news regarding large developers possibly building properties that were defective; what were the Planning department doing to avoid any issues. The Executive Member of Growth said that through Building Control, systems were in place but he would also raise the issue.
Councillor Oliver asked the Leader of the Council if Members would be receiving information relating to the new General Data Protection Regulations, particularly with regard to explicit consents. The Executive Manager for Governance said work was underway on all of the Data Protection issues that affected the Council including the elements that affected elected Members. Documentation such as privacy notices that dealt with Member ward issues and a set of frequently asked questions would be circulated to Members shortly.