Acton: Rogue trader dumped waste in picturesque villages

A ROGUE trader who advertised a rubbish removal company has been fined after fly-tipping customers’ waste across Suffolk and Essex.

Michael Berwick, of Daniels Close, Acton, was prosecuted after a joint investigation by Babergh and Braintree District Councils following a tip-off from a customer.

The 29-year-old was contacted by a Glemsford resident, who had seen an advert for Moving On Removals on Facebook, which she believed to be legitimate.

Berwick was paid �55 to remove the waste, which included a window blind, cot, suitcase, lawnmower and child’s bicycle, from her property on January 7.

Between January 7 and 13, three incidents of fly-tipping were reported to Babergh District Council with one in Pentlow Green, Glemsford, another in Mills Lane, Long Melford, and the third in Cuckoo Tye, Acton.

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Correspondence in each of the fly-tips linked the waste with the items taken in Glemsford and neighbours had seen the dumping taking place.

Berwick was tracked down and admitted to fly-tipping at each of the locations.

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He was ordered to pay a �300 fine, �200 costs and a �15 victim surcharge at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for dumping waste on land without an environment permit and failing to produce transfer notes relating to the waste.

Matthew Bullock, Babergh’s environmental protection officer, said: “Mr Berwick had been employed in good faith to carry out the rubbish clearance but he was not operating legitimately or licensed to carry waste – simply taking the money and then dumping the waste nearby.

“In this situation the customer has paid twice for the waste to be cleared – once when she paid for Mr Berwick to remove the waste, and again through her council tax, part of which is spent on clearing fly-tipped waste.”

Both Babergh and Braintree are urging residents who pay to have their waste removed to ensure it is being done legitimately.

Wendy Schmitt, Braintree’s cabinet member for place, said: “Fly-tipping is a serious blight on our countryside and communities and this successful prosecution shows how councils can work together to tackle it.

“We intend to continue to pursue these prosecutions until the message gets through that littering and fly tipping are unacceptable.”

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