Murdo Fraser MSP is optimistic that fly-tipping legislation he favours will be incorporated into a Government Bill following a meeting with a Scottish Minister.
The Scottish Conservative politician discussed various aspects of his Members’ Bill on Fly-tipping with Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, during a recent virtual meeting and also looked at useful feedback provided by respondents during the its consultation stage.
This feedback on Mr Fraser’s Members’ Bill revealed that 86% of respondents are in favour of addressing legal liability for fly-tipping, with 64% backing the call for improving the reporting channels on fly-tipping incidents.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “The meeting with Ms Slater was very useful indeed. I outlined the four main parts of my Members’ Bill that I’d like to see changes and possibly legislation introduced and was pleased to hear the Minister felt there was alignment on most of these issues in the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill.
“I was very pleased to hear Ms Slater say that there needs to be greater clarity on who is responsible for data collection as it varies just now from being dealt with by either local authorities or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). She also agreed with me in that we presently have a scenario where ‘victims’ of fly-tipping are literally criminalised when waste is dumped on their land.
“However, she did admit that trying to change this could be a complicated process.
“During the meeting, I explained that 68% of consultation respondents to my Members’ Bill on Fly-tipping agreed that the duty of care to householders regarding finding out who is responsible for waste being dumped on land needs to be changed.”
Mr Fraser continued: “I also told Ms Slater that 81% of consultation respondents want to see the level of fines on fly-tipping offenders increased, with 82% fully supportive of SEPA fining those caught fly-tipping. It was good to hear that the Minister wants more enforcement powers granted in terms of legislation on fly-tipping in Scotland.
“I will still be pressing ahead with my Members’ Bill but there will obviously be areas where there is a cross-over of suggestions and ideas with the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill. I will ensure that they take on board my aims to deliver serious sanctions, including increasing the level of fixed penalty notices, in order to try to deter some people from fly-tipping.
"Our meeting was constructive and allowed me an opportunity to highlight some of the results from the consultation period.
“The responses showed that people are aware that fly-tipping is not just a rural issue, it is also an urban one. People have been providing feedback to me saying that they know of wasteland on industrial estates in urban settings that are being used as a dumping ground.
“I was delighted to hear Ms Slater say she hoped to incorporate some of the aspects of my Bill into the Circular Economy Bill, and I look forward to working with her on this in the coming months.”