New figures reveal growing problem of fly-tipping
Figures revealed in a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs reply to a question tabled by Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert show that the problem of fly-tipping continues to grow in West Sussex.
The total number of incidents of fly-tipping in West Sussex rose from 5,228 in 2004-05 to 6,471 in 2005-06, an increase of nearly one fifth. This figure equates to more than 18 incidents of fly-tipping in West Sussex a day. The estimated cost to local authorities of clearing up fly-tipping in the county has, as a result, risen from £263,414.02 in 2004-05 to £305,963.88 in 2005-06, an increase of 16 per cent.
Other figures obtained by Nick Herbert show that only one person was taken to court, and successfully prosecuted, for fly-tipping in West Sussex in 2004-05. In 2005-06, this figure fell to zero.
The substantial increases in the number of incidents of fly-tipping and the cost to local authorities of clearing it up come despite increasingly tough rhetoric from the Government on fly-tipping and the granting of new and tougher powers to government agencies and local authorities through the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
The new figures are released less than a month after National Fly-tipping Awareness Week and the launch of a public consultation on fly-tipping by the Countryside Alliance.
Nationally, it is estimated that there is a new incident of fly-tipping every 12 seconds and that the cost to the public purse stands at around £72 a minute.
Commenting on the figures, Nick Herbert said: "These figures show that the problem of fly-tipping is getting worse, not better, in West Sussex and that more needs to be done to counter this problem.
"Fly-tipping not only has a detrimental environmental impact on the South Downs and surrounding countryside but it is also placing an increasing burden on our local authorities who have to commit time and money to clearing up the unsightly waste left by a thoughtless minority."
Notes for Editors
1. The Government's response to Nick Herbert's Parliamentary Questions is below:
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many incidents of fly-tipping were reported in West Sussex in (a) 1997 and (b) each of the last four years for which figures are available; and what the estimated cost was of dealing with such incidents; 
(2) how many (a) prosecutions and (b) successful prosecutions there were in West Sussex for fly-tipping in (i) 1997 and (ii) each of the last four years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Flycapture, the national fly-tipping database, was set up in 2004 by Defra, the Environment Agency and the Local Government Association to record the number of fly-tipping incidents dealt with by the Environment Agency and local authorities. Data are, therefore, only available from April 2004 onwards and are as follows:
Total number of incidents in West Sussex
Estimated clearance costs (£)
Number of prosecutions taken to court
Number of successful prosecutions
Data for 2006-07 are not yet available but will be published in the summer.