Calls for Lisburn to introduce private enforcement over fly-tipping concerns

Lisburn Council are being urged to look into the possibility of employing enforcement from the private sector to help tackle fly-tipping, dog-fouling and littering.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 10:29 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 10:30 am
Fly-tipping at Ballycolin Road, Hannahstown, in Lisburn

Ulster Unionist councillor John Palmer said the area had been plagued by environmental crime in recent months, adding it was now proving to be a ‘health risk’.

Fly-tipping cost the ratepayer over £50,000 in Lisburn Castlereagh in the last two years, while only a few thousand was raked in with fines.

The local authority said that they issued 48 fines (£2,550) last year, with each fine costing an offender £80.

Cllr Palmer made the proposal for the introduction of private enforcement at the latest full council meeting, saying it had proved ‘successful for other councils across the UK’.

“I’ve noticed within the last few months that two councils in Northern Ireland have now employed a service for a private enforcement company to work alongside their enforcement officers.

“I just wonder if there is any possibility of our council going down this road and I think there would be immense benefits if we did introduce this scheme.

“I would propose that we do a scoping exercise along with the other two councils to see what benefits they’ve achieved in the short term that they have used this service.

“The company has been used right across the UK and they’ve been very successful for the councils they do work for when tackling fly-tipping, dog-fouling and littering.”

In response, Heather Moore, Director of Environmental Services, said that a paper was already being drafted on the idea.

She added: “The [Environmental Services and Corporate Communications teams’] are working together on that from a communications perspective to see how we can deliver a more hard-hitting message around these issues.

“I am hoping that there will be a paper that will back through Environmental Services and that will include the option of the additional private sector enforcement and I am happy to take that proposal.”