Agenda item


A report by the Assistant Director – Regulatory.


The Portfolio Holder presented the report advising that the new Environmental Offences (Fixed Penalties) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 which came into force on 31st July 2023, had increased the upper fixed penalty limit for the specified offences. The Regulations were introduced as part of the Governments Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan launched earlier in the year, supporting Councils in tackling environmental crime offences.   Boston Borough Council has been pro-active in tackling environmental crime and recognised the negative impact these crimes have on communities, amenities, businesses, and the natural environment. Work undertaken recently included enforcement and education campaigns, intelligence led patrols and use of surveillance cameras.  Littering, graffiti, flyposting and fly-tipping blighted communities, imposed avoidable costs on the public purse and could harm the environment, with fly-tipping being aggravated by householders giving waste to unauthorised carriers.  Fixed penalty notices provided the Council as an enforcing authority with an effective and visible way of responding to these environmental crimes. They also provided an alternative to prosecution and allowed an individual to discharge liability for an offence by payment of a financial penalty. The council is not obliged to offer an alleged offender the option to discharge liability through an FPN; however, it can be deemed more proportionate than prosecution through the courts in some cases. In the 2023 Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan, the Government explained that it wanted to see councils take a much tougher approach to these forms of anti-social behaviour and set out new upper limits for fixed penalties notices. The Environmental Offences (Fixed Penalties) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 increased the upper limit for the fixed penalties that can be issued for these offences.

The Portfolio Holder advised he was seeking an increase in the charges for FPN’s and asked committee to consider the table of charges within the report and agree their preference for recommendation to Cabinet.


Committee deliberation followed which included:

Overall members agreed to the need to increase the charges but concern was noted at the transient nature of some residents and the problems of actually finding them to pay the charges.  Members were advised that the Council did prosecute all non-payers through the Single Justice Procedure through the courts, which was the most efficient way to process the cases.  However, when that happened the court would then take into consideration the persons’ financial position at that time and also any mitigating circumstances’.  Members were further advised that consideration of the financial demographic of the town had been taken into consideration when structuring the suggested new charged. 

On questioning the position of the two others Councils’ within the Partnership, members were advised that South Holland District Council had recently increased its charges and East Lindsey District Council was looking into their charging structure, however all three Sovereign Councils would agree their own charging structure, there would not be a single charging structure across the Partnership.

Concerns were noted at on-going fly tipping activity which was prevalent at certain sites within the town, and also at sites whereby waste bins had been removed in an attempt to stop such activity, but where fly tipping incidents continued to take place. It was recognised that not all residents, especially those within the migrant and transient communities were fully aware of the rules and that a collaborative approach was required with residents, landlords and letting agents. Members were advised that an education programme was being rolled out on the 1st November within the hot-spot areas for fly-tipping which would result in stricter enforcement, it would include a leaflet drop in the worst hit areas with the information pack being in multiple languages and incorporating signage

Further concerns noted the issue of bins on the streets particularly on the town centre streets due to residents having no access to the rear of their properties.  The effect on the town gave the appearance of it being dilapidated and run down and the situation needed to be addressed ahead of the Boston 400 event which would see large numbers of visitors coming to the town.  The key entry sites to the town including the train and coach stations and many of the car parks were all within areas with large number of bins on the pavements.  Members were advised that a detailed review was scheduled to look at the current provision / system for waste bins across all areas of the town to determine which bin provisions worked and which did not work, to move forward with a system that worked for all areas.

Questioning ongoing incidents of multiple waste bags being left in front gardens and back yards of properties, members asked if the legislation covered it, and were advised that whilst the new legislation did not cover such incidents, the Council did take enforcement action against those who had carried out such acts which resulted in large build-ups of rubbish on premises. Stressing the need for greater interaction with the landlords and letting agents, members were advised that the Council’s environmental team, enforcement team and housing team met regularly with the letting agents to address such issues.   On questioning increased use of CCTV, the portfolio holder advised that the Safer Streets Scheme which was being introduced would enable greater coverage of the town.



That the Environment and Performance Committee recommend to Cabinet that it increase its Environmental Fixed Penalty Notice charges as follows:



Recommend Charge


£300 or £200 if paid within 10 days


£300 or £200 if paid within 10 days


£250 or £150 if paid within 10 days

Fly tipping

£800 or £550 if paid within 10 days

Household waste duty of care

£600 or £400 if paid within 10 days


Supporting documents: