Victory! Stoke cleaner campaigner gets £1.2k fine for fly-tipping overturned

An environmental campaigner cleaning up Stoke-on-Trent has accused a council of “hypocrisy” – after being fined £600 for fly-tipping. Stoke-on-Trent City Council also fined Matthew Halliday’s wife Elisa £600, leaving them with a £1,200 bill.

It comes after the couple said they asked a friend to collect an aquarium cabinet from outside their home, on Cornwallis Street, Stoke. They say he was out of the house for less than 24 hours.

Matthew campaigned against waste dumped in his neighborhood and highlighted the state of the River Trent. He has also previously spoken to StokeonTrentLive about a plot of land that has become a hotspot for discarded needles.

READ: ‘Smoking’ Julie reports fly-tipping – and gets £400 fine from council for her troubles – Clumsy Stoke-on-Trent City Council has canceled the £400 penalty – and instead fined Julie Hancock £80 for leaving her bin outside.

READ: Council fines OAPs £500 for fly-tipping – and charges £300 to clean up site – Kenneth Harland, 68, from Bradeley, is now paying Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s £800 bill in installments.

The council has now reversed the sanctions – after StokeonTrentLive intervened in Matthew’s case.

The 49-year-old said: “We were giving the aquarium cupboard to our friend. The cupboard was left there for a short time, removed the next day and carefully stored near the house, out of the way. Little did we know we would receive two £600 fines for this. Strollers and mobility scooters could easily pass through and there was no danger.

Matthew Halliday – Credit: Pete StonierMatthew Halliday – Credit: Pete Stonier

Matthew Halliday – Credit: Pete Stonier

“If you drive down some of the streets where we live, the trash cans are constantly outside. Trash cans fall, rotten food comes out, trash, but no one says anything. Trash cans cause more obstruction than our closet. It seems like I’m picking on bin owners who dump them in the street, but I’m only pointing this out because of the council’s hypocrisy.

“£600 each is disgusting. If we had someone living in our spare room and the council knew about it, would they have been fined too?”

Matthew appealed the sanctions. Stoke-on-Trent City Council said if the two men accepted responsibility the £1,200 fine would be halved. He has now agreed to cancel the fines.

StokeonTrentLive has contacted the council for a statement regarding its decision. This was confirmed in a letter to Matthew from city councilor Dominic Gratty.

He said: “I have considered the evidence, the public interest and the mitigation measures put forward in issuing two household duty of care fixed penalty notices. I am pleased to inform you that I do not find your actions to be reckless or negligent as intended. The object was for the cupboard to be collected with the aquarium for later use and, due to transport problems, it was not collected until the next day. Although we don’t condone leaving the closet on the highway, I assumed it wasn’t there. additional burden on the city council in collecting the cupboard, as it was removed by a third party the following day. Based on these facts I have removed the fixed penalty notices and added that you have been informed that it is not permitted to leave items on the highway. “

Sign up to our main daily newsletter here and get all the latest news straight to your inbox for FREE.