THE SCOTTISH Government and the Scottish Conservatives have agreed to work together to crack down on incidents of fly-tipping.

Both parties have shown their commitment to toughening up on incidents with Conservative MSP, Murdo Fraser, proposing a Members’ Bill on fly-tipping and the SNP Government currently putting together a strategy on litter and fly-tipping, which is due to be published early in 2022.

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Mr Fraser - who is calling for higher penalties and better reporting of incidents - highlighted the severity of the issue at Holyrood last week, and has secured a meeting with Màiri McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform, to discuss how they can work together to combat the growing problem.

During general questions at Holyrood on Thursday, November 11, Mr Fraser told members that there were only three court prosecutions for fly-tipping in Scotland in the 2019-20 financial year, out of 32 cases reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. He asked The Scottish Government what action they were doing to tackle the issue.

Màiri McAllan MSP replied: “I thank the member for his question, because it gives me the opportunity to restate that fly-tipping is a criminal offence and an activity that has no place in Scotland.

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“We take the matter very seriously and are developing a new litter and fly-tipping strategy, which will be ready for consultation by the end of this year and will be published in early 2022,” she explained. “The issue of enforcement, which the member raised, is one of the key themes of the strategy. We will review current processes and legislation, including where they may need to be strengthened or where new legislation may be required. I absolutely welcome views and encourage participation in the upcoming consultation.

"I am aware of the bill that the member is developing. I have not seen the content of it yet, but I would be glad to meet him to discuss it."

Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “I was pleased with the positive response from the Minister for Environment. I am delighted that I have secured a meeting with her, and I look forward to working with the SNP Government to tackle this problem together.

“Fly-tipping has become a scourge on our landscape, affecting people right across the country. The situation had become so bad that I decided to work towards a Members’ Bill on Fly-tipping, with a view to changing the current legislation as it obviously isn’t working,” he continued.

“One of the key issues I am looking at is ensuring there is strict liability of who is responsible for dumping fly-tipping. Local authorities are often left to sort out the mess, but there is a great frustration caused by the amount of work and effort involved in putting a case together for prosecution, with only a tiny percentage reaching the courts.”

“I am also looking at better reporting of incidents of fly-tipping – there needs to be a central body dealing with this,” he argued. “And I believe we need to look at strengthening the deterrent to put people off dumping fly-tipping. The maximum fine that can be imposed by local councils at the moment is only £200 – this needs to be increased. It will be interesting to hear what the SNP Government are proposing, and I look forward to meeting with the Minister to discuss this.”