It is a delight to speak in the debate, Sir Mark, and I thank my hon. Friend Saqib Bhatti for securing it. I had quite a long speech, but I will cut it down to just a few pertinent points. I ought to declare that I am still a borough councillor with Charnwood Borough Council. I will talk about some of the good things and some of the bad things happening in our area with fly-tipping.
First, I want to focus on farmers. Farmers in my area are blighted by fly-tipping, particularly on the margins of the constituency and the county—I am on the edge of the county. There is frequent fly-tipping on Charley Road in Shepshed, for example, which causes farmers great distress and rather a lot of expenditure. Betty Hensers Lane in Mountsorrel is also frequently blighted. Incidents like those that my hon. Friend described involving lorry loads—he referred to them as tipper trucks—happen often throughout Charnwood, both in my constituency and in the constituency of my hon. Friend Edward Argar. To deter fly-tippers, farmers are resorting to drastic measures such as blockading gates and field entrances with machinery and other items, and installing lights and security cameras—all at their own expense. That is something I would like to look at with the Minister, please.
There is good news, however. Charnwood Borough Council has been running a campaign called “Don’t muck around”, and I was the lead member for four years. We did all sorts of things. We had posters where dogs were, dare I say it—am I going to be the first Member to say “pooing” in Hansard?—pooing, to show that people should pick it up and take it away themselves. We had 38 flags in Sileby football pitch identifying pieces of dog poo across a pitch that kids were playing on every weekend; it was terrible.
The council does wonderful things to do with littering, fly-tipping and dog mess, and I absolutely take my hat off to the street management team, who work very hard. The council holds a rubbish amnesty day at the end of every student year. As the students leave, a rubbish truck comes round and takes the rubbish away, which is great. That does not happen in all cases, but it does in the majority. At the beginning of the year, during freshers’ week, the council gives out advice on what to do with rubbish, because people come from different parts of the country, where rubbish is dealt with differently.
There are those kinds of concerns, but I am most concerned about the impact on farmers. Aliens do not come down and fly-tip rubbish on our country. I therefore ask that everybody deals with their own rubbish as much as possible. If everybody did that, we would not have fly-tipping, littering or dog mess across the country.
A point was made earlier about ensuring that carriers do, in fact, have waste licences and are not dumping waste elsewhere. I suggest that littering from moving vehicles, including from the backs of open trucks, should be heavily fined to deter people from leaving detritus in our towns and on our highways.