Anger in Burntisland as councillor’s motion hailed as ‘first step to common sense ruling’ on fly-tipping

Mr Strawn has hit back after he was fined, while others left mess and got away with it. Pic by Fife Photo Agency.
Mr Strawn has hit back after he was fined, while others left mess and got away with it. Pic by Fife Photo Agency.

A Burntisland pensioner fined £200 for fly tipping has hit out at travellers leaving a main town car park “like a tip” being let off “scot-free.”

William Strawn’s outburst came as a Burntisland councillor’s motion to give resident’s warning notices over fly tipping before fining them, gained support.

Mr Strawn (86) received a £200 fixed penalty for leaving paper waste in a bag next to bins at the town’s recycling station on the Links just before Christmas because they were already full.

He told the Press the treatment given to travelling people who are currently camped in the Links car park, was “a far cry” from that offered to him and seven fellow residents who were all fined after trying to recycle their rubbish.

“It’s a joke,” said Mr Strawn, “I just can’t understand why we, who did our best to keep the area clean and tidy have been fineed, while the travellers who illegally camp on the Links and deliberately leave the area like a tip, forcing the council to tidy up after them, are let off scot-free.

“I am very angry about this and I am beginning to regret paying the fine. I have never been in any trouble in my life, then this happened from a simple mistake, but the travellers make a decision to flout the law and nobody does anything about it.”

A motion raised by local councillor George Kay at a recent Fife Council scrutiny committee calling for a two-strike policy on well meaning people, who leave rubbish at recycling stations in bags when the bins are full, gained unanimous support.

Recommendations that a report be prepared on the extent of the problem and that written warnings be issued in good intent instances, is set to go before the next executive committee.

“We have taken the first step to having some common sense shine through here and I look forward to it continuing,” said Councillor Kay.

“I can see where Mr Strawn is coming from and it does seem very unfair, but it is not comparing like with like as these people lead chaotic lifestyles and have to be dealt with through the court system.

“In the past I have sent down environmental officers who have done what they can, and a court order was declared on the travellers last week.”

Mark McCall, service manager with Fife Council, said: “We’re reviewing our processes in respect of our approach to the management of fly-tipping and will be taking some recommendations to the executive committee soon.

“We don’t want to penalise people trying to recycle responsibly, but we must set out clear expectations and be able to apply any policy consistently.”

He said officers would inspect the car park where travellers have stopped off.