Fly-tipping — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:57 am on 17th April 2018.

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Photo of Neil Parish Neil Parish Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee 10:57 am, 17th April 2018

I thank the Minister for summing up and for the work she is doing on the matter. It is not easy to control fly-tipping. There were 25 Members in the Chamber at one stage in the debate, and that was after a late sitting last night, straight after a recess, which shows how important the subject is to many people. I thank everyone for their contributions to the debate, which was good-tempered and informative. We talked about making those who dispose of waste in the first place more responsible for their actions, for example through the DVLA, as set out by my hon. Friend David T. C. Davies. There were points about keeping waste sites open for people to dispose of waste rather than fly-tipping it, and about putting the onus back on those who are caught by having heavier fines. We must remember that those who fly-tip need to be prosecuted. Otherwise, landowners and farmers have to clear up, and there are many costs that are often unrecoverable.

The shadow Minister, Dr Drew, made an interesting point about satellites. On the Select Committee I have learned that it is amazing what those satellites can pick up—from an electric fence to goodness knows what. If they can do that, why can they not pick up lorries and vans going into the countryside? That might give us a clue as to who the people are. It is interesting and probably worth pursuing. We need to do all we can and bring everyone together, from local authorities to Government, to crack down so that we can have a countryside that is beautiful. We talk about greater access to the countryside, and we need to sort this issue out, because otherwise farmers and landowners will understandably be concerned. Will greater access mean greater opportunities for people to take rubbish out and tip it into fields in our great countryside?

I welcome the debate and all the Members who took part, including John Mc Nally, who had some good ideas from Scotland. We need to take all the ideas—I do not think that anyone has an instant panacea—and work together to reduce fly-tipping so that we have a greener, pleasant land.

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 10(6)).