BLAENAU Gwent council is set to introduce a £150 fine for people who fail to keep their land tidy – including in their own front gardens.

From Monday, June 16, residents can be fined for failing to comply with litter clearance notices handed out by the authority.

A report was presented to members of the council’s executive committee yesterday seeking approval to set fines for non-compliance with litter clearance notices in Blaenau Gwent.

Blaenau Gwent council receives approximately 500 complaints per year in relation to litter, refuse and waste on public and private land.

Under Section 92A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the council can serve a litter clearance notice on the occupier or owner of any land to remove litter or refuse that is considered “detrimental to the amenity of the area”.

If they have not cleared the land within 28 days of the notice, they can be fined.

But until now the council has rarely used this legislation to deal with litter and refuse problems. From June 16 the authority will not only issue the notices, but if the owner or occupier fails to clean their land up it will issue a fine of £150.

The decision to start implementing the rules and increasing the fines comes after the council recently appointed Price Waterhouse Coopers to review services including public protection enforcement relating to litter and refuse. Under the Environmental Protection Act this can include the front gardens of private houses.

Failure to pay the fixed penalty notice can result in prosecution, although people who are served a notice can appeal to a magistrates court within 21 days to have the notice overturned.

Members of the executive unanimously approved the proposal.