Messy van? It could land you with a £300 fine

A roofer from Hertfordshire was fined £300 for having the wrappers from his lunch in his van.

Stewart Gosling was handed an on the spot fine and is now being taken to court by Waltham Forest Council thanks to the crisp packets and empty water bottles he hadn’t cleared away.

Roofer flagged down by police and council members

Mr Gosling was visiting friends in Chingford when he was pulled over by police officers and members of the local council. He was asked if he had a waste licence for the area and, when he said he didn’t, he was issued with a £300 fine.

An aggrivated Mr Gosling said: “It should be common sense. I had no idea you needed a waste licence. You have to be polite to these people but it annoyed me. I’ve done this job for over 20 odd years and I never carry waste on my jobs; I just use skips and licensed waste carriers in the local area.

“It seems a bit steep to be honest. A warning would have been more understandable.”

Be careful how you store your waste

While all Mr Gosling saw were two pieces of litter from his lunch, the council view things differently because of how it was stored.

A council spokesperson said: “The waste in this case was being transported in a commercial refuse bag in the trader’s vehicle. Regardless of what the items are, if waste is being stored in a commercial refuse bag in a trader’s van it is necessary that they have a valid waste carriers’ license.

“It is widely recognised as best practice for tradesmen to be licensed to avoid legal repercussions, in the event they are required to transport even small quantities of waste.”

Appeals process ends in court battle

Unfortunately for Mr Gosling, several delays have resulted in the case going to court.

As he has a waste licence with his local council, he was told he may be able to appeal the fine. The council then took a while to get back to him before ultimately rejecting the appeal. At this point, Mr Gosling asked for clarification about why the fine was issued, and was greeted with a further delay.

Mr Gosling was on holiday when the council finally got back to him, and was then told he was being taken to court as he hadn’t paid the fine within the 10 day time limit.

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