Woman offers to pay OAP’s ‘fly tipping’ fine

William Strawn at the recycling site. Pic: FPA

William Strawn at the recycling site. Pic: FPA

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A complete stranger has offered to pay the fine for a Burntisland pensioner after being “incensed” to hear of his fine for fly tipping.

The woman who lives near Glasgow and who wants to remain anonymous, told the Press she had read the story in a newspaper and been so angry at Fife Council’s “heavy handedness” that she wanted to pay William Strawn’s £200 fine.

Mr Strawn (86) was given the financial penalty after leaving paper waste in a bag next to recycling bins on the town’s Links because the bins were filled to overflowing in the run up to Christmas.

Council officers went through the bags which were within a fenced off recycling centre at the car park and delivered £200 fixed penalties to around eight people whose names and addresses were found within the waste.

The council has reiterated this week that the fines will stand and its view on the situation has not changed.

This week Mr Strawn’s daughter Jeanette Malone from Kirkcaldy said the family had been moved by the kindness of people, some complete strangers, to her dad’s plight.

However she said he would not accept any offers of help because there were more than just him who had fallen foul of the council’s zero tolerance approach, for what she described as “an honest mistake.”

“My father has already paid,” she said.

‘‘He is from a generation where people obey the law.

‘‘He didn’t want to face the prospect of being taken to court if he didn’t pay,” she said.

“This is a very kind offer and we are grateful, but we can’t accept. I will contact her to thank her and explain.

‘‘It’s not the end of the matter as I have made a complaint on the council’s website.”

Councillor George Kay, who represents Burntisland, wrote to the Council asking it to review its policy and recall the fines in this instance, saying its efforts to inform the public on its stance had failed.

He said: “I know many of the people involved and they are the backbone of our communities.

‘‘They would no more offend in such a manner than fly in the air.

‘‘I think education is much more important than enforcement, and I would still urge the council to realise its failure to educate and withdraw the fine.”

He has called for a two-strike policy.

He wants to see offenders given advice on their actions the first time they are caught.

And then, if the problem is ignored, they are hit with a hefty fine.

“I will ask the relevant scrutiny to look at what has happened here and after investigations make suitable recommendations,” he said.