Spring is one of my favourite times of year, with the clocks going forward and summer just around the corner bringing longer evenings and warmer weather, writes Rob Hill, assistant director for public protection at Peterborough City Council.
It’s also that time of year when we sometimes start to see an increase in fly-tipping incidents, as the brighter weather can make people more inclined to get out and dump rubbish.
The council is continuing to look at new ways that the problem can be tackled because we know it is an issue that residents are particularly concerned about.
Earlier this year we opened our new household recycling centre in Fengate and if you haven’t visited already, then believe me, it’s a huge improvement on the previous facility at Dogsthorpe and much more user-friendly.
We’re confident that it will help reduce fly-tipping in the long-term, but one message we always like to remind people about is to remember your duty of care when it comes to disposing of waste.
Environmental protection law requires all householders to make sure their waste is only removed from their premises by registered waste carriers.
Unlicensed businesses may be tempted to dump waste they collect in order to avoid charges for proper disposal.
If you have paid an unlicensed business to collect waste and the waste gets dumped and traced back to you, then the law states that the waste is your responsibility and you can be prosecuted ending up with a heavy fine.
However, this situation can be easily avoided.
Whenever you are considering arranging for anyone other than Peterborough City Council to collect any waste from your home, always carry out the following checks:
. Ask to see their waste carriers licence - you can check to see if they are registered waste carriers by searching the Environment Agency’s public register of waste carriers online or by phoning them on 03708 506 506.
. Record the registration number of any vehicle used to transport your waste.
. Always ask for a proper invoice or receipt.
. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - always ask exactly what is going to happen to your waste and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of correctly.
. Finally, if you suspect that someone who collected waste is suspicious you can report this to us by calling the council on 01733 747474.
Spring also often sees an increase in the number of motorcyclists taking to the road, again as a result of the better weather.
So if you’re dusting off your leathers right now, we would like to remind motorcyclists to give their vehicles a spring clean to check everything is in working order.
If you haven’t taken to the road for a while then it’s also worth considering a motorcycle skills safety course.
Finally, we’d like to remind people about the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) that we have in Peterborough.
These are situated in the city centre and the Millfield/New England areas of the city and came into effect in 2017 following a public consultation.
The PSPOs enable the council and the Safer Peterborough Partnership achieve their objectives to ‘keep our communities safe, cohesive and healthy’ and to ‘tackle anti-social behaviour’.
Each PSPO had a number of conditions attached which if breached, can lead to an offender being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Now we are fully aware that some people find this approach excessive, particularly when it comes to issues such as the ban of cycling in Bridge Street.
However, in this case, we applied the condition because many pedestrians felt unsafe in a busy area of the city, so we are trying to strike an appropriate balance.