The CLA (Country Land and Business Association Limited) is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales. They have been safeguarding the interests of landowners, and those with an economic, social and environmental interest in rural land for more than 100 years.
CLA members own or manage around half the rural land in England and Wales and more than 250 different types of businesses. So, when they offer a five-point plan on tackling the growing problem of fly-tipping in the English countryside, people tend to sit up and listen.
Results from a survey conducted by Farmers Weekly and CLA Insurance revealed that almost two thirds of farmers and landowners have been affected by fly-tipping and over half agree it is a significant issue in their area. Some 85% have taken measures to protect their land such installing gates or barriers, padlocking entrances and using CCTV, but only 13% have insured their farm business against fly-tipping.
Most victims surveyed said they had been targeted on multiple occasions, around two to three times per month, and because private landowners are liable for the clean-up process they are spending on average £844 per incident. Out of 936,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2015/2016 only 129 vehicles were seized, and out of 2,135 prosecutions only 77 fines of over £1,000 were imposed, according to figures published by Defra earlier this year.
The CLA 5 Point Plan is as follows:
- Seizing vehicles must become the default penalty for fly-tipping as part of tougher punishments for waste crime.
- Enforcing fines for home and business owners whose waste is found in fly-tipped locations.
- Appointing a ‘Fly-Tipping Tsar’ to co-ordinate with national agencies on the scale of this organised crime.
- Developing new ways to clear up and support victims so that private landowners are not liable.
- Educating the public on this anti-social behaviour and working in partnership to help reduce waste crime through best practice.
The work the CLA undertake in the best interests of the land has a positive effect on wildlife and the natural environment, and their diverse and successful businesses are the heart of rural communities. This 5 point plan should be heeded by the UK Government and Defra.
The CLA’s in-house professional advisory team offers members independent and impartial advice on every aspect of their landownership, and through the experience and expertise of their members and staff, they promote their members’ interests to ensure the positive development of the rural economy. CLA professionals lobby continuously at national and regional level ensuring a visible presence and influence in the media and with government.
The CLA website can be found here.