I was given a fine of £400 by for RECYCLING cardboard – it was harrowing


A MAN was bizarrely given a £400 fly-tipping fine by a council enforcement officer for recycling cardboard – in the correct way.

Patrick Ward, 55, had neatly folded the packaging from a B&Q shower he had bought and left it outside as instructed.


Patrick Ward, 55, says he received the hefty fine, despite following recycling rules at the timeCredit: BPM
Torbay Council's new enforcement officers are doling out fines for environmental offences


Torbay Council’s new enforcement officers are doling out fines for environmental offencesCredit: BPM

The shopkeeper from Torquay and other locals had been told by Torbay Council to leave their recycling waste outside as collections had been delayed due to staff shortages.

But the 55-year-old was left furious when a member of the council’s new private enforcement team slapped him with a hefty fine.

Patrick claims the stony-faced worker refused to answer any of his questions and wouldn’t listen to his protests.

The frustrated local explained: “It was harrowing. This guy wearing a bodycam turned up.

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“He just said; ‘This is the fine’ while videoing me. That was almost the worst part.

“There is nothing quite like someone videoing you whilst issuing you with a fine, but refusing to answer any of your questions at the same time.”

Patrick says he has been fobbed off by the council after trying to find out why he received a fine despite following their instructions.

He continued: “I have rung Torbay Council so many times to try to get answers to questions.

“I tried to ask at the time the guy with the body cam at the time but he just refused to answer any of my questions.

“I appealed but was told it’s not a licensed area for bin disposal.”

The shopkeeper has now called on Babbacombe ward councillors Hazel Foster and Anne Brooks to help fight his case.

Cllr Foster said: “I think the enforcement officer has been totally over the top.

“At that particular time the refuse bins in that area had gone three weeks with no collections.

“Residents were trying to do their best but we all saw it up and down the pavements – the area was generally untidy but it wasn’t the residents fault.

“They were old to leave it out until it was collected. This resident did everything he could to enable this.”

There is nothing quite like someone videoing you whilst issuing you with a fine, but refusing to answer any of your questions at the same time.

Patrick Ward

Numerous locals have also lashed out regarding ridiculous fines they have received from the new National Enforcement Solutions (NES) officers that were brought in earlier this year.

A Torbay Council spokesperson said: “The fixed penalty notice issued to Mr Ward by National Enforcement Solutions (NES) was the result of a video sent in by a member of the public.

“Mr Ward was seen, via video, leaving commercial waste behind a local authority public litter bin on council land, which is classed as fly-tipping.

“Mr Ward admitted to the offence and was issued a fixed penalty notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

“Although the waste was later removed, it is the belief of NES that had it not been for the person filming, the waste would have been left for Torbay Council to clean up as a case of fly-tipping.”

But Patrick insists he never admitted to the infringement and pointed out that the cardboard box was not commercial waste.

He added: “It was the box from a B&Q shower and it was tucked behind my private recycling bin.

“Also I have not admitted it – I denied it and that’s why I have appealed. The person who filmed me may have thought it was commercial waste but it wasn’t.”

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The controversial enforcement officers from a private company were brought in by Torbay Council to crackdown on fly-tipping.

They have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to “anyone committing environmental crimes in Torbay.”


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