TEST Valley was plagued by more than three reported fly-tipping incidents a day over the past year, but less action is being handed to those who dump their waste.

New figures from Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has revealed there were 1,138 rubbish dumping incidents across the borough in 2018/19, 3.1 per day.

The information also covered the number of reported fly-tipping incidents for the financial years 2014/15 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 which showed there were 3,355 reports over the three years. But this year alone there have already been 534 incidents registered by the authority.

Despite the increasing number of incidents, the amount of actions carried out on the offenders has been dropping year-on-year since 2014/15 when 1,182 measures were imposed – despite only 536 offences.

And in 2018/19 only 27 per cent of cases (316) were hit with any type of enforcement from TVBC. These include warning letters, statutory notice actions and in some cases prosecutions through court resulting in fines.

But the council has claimed the reduction in actions is simply down to different fly-tips requiring different actions. It has said that if a household tip was carried out officers might go and do a letter drop round the houses, in which every letter may count as an action, but if the situation had improved these letters would not be sent.

Environmental portfolio holder, Councillor Alison Johnston, said: “The council has a very clear zero-tolerance approach to tackling fly-tipping in the borough. We can only take action when fly-tips are reported to us and the number of these varies each year. We encourage residents to report any fly-tips they come across.

“We investigate every single case reported to us, regardless of whether it is on private or public land. Since the turn of the year, we have successfully prosecuted 17 people for fly-tipping, littering and licence offences.

“There is never any excuse for fly-tipping and quite often the material that has been dumped could have been taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC). Larger fly-tips often consist of commercial waste, which wouldn’t be disposed of at the HWRC.

“We continue to urge people to check if their waste carrier has a licence as it is often those operating illegally who go on to fly-tip.”