Wells businessman prosecuted

Alex Branch of AB Building and Clearance of Wells appeared before Taunton Magistrates Court, last Thursday , 13 July. Mendip District Council enforcement officers had visited the company as part of a routine trade waste inspection. The officers were following up on reports that an unlicensed waste carrier was operating within Mendip. Council officers issued a notice to provide Waste Transfer Notes for the last two years. The notice was served on Mr Alex Branch of Churchill Close, Wells, Somerset. The purpose was to understand whether waste was being transported legally and with correct audit documentation. Mr Branch was given 14 days to provide the Waste Transfer Notes. Failure to comply with the notice is a criminal offence punishable upon conviction to an unlimited fine and a criminal record. Mr Branch failed to provide the requested documents within the stipulated time. He was then issued with two fixed penalty notices which he failed to pay and was ultimately summoned to Court. In determining the degree of culpability, the Magistrates concluded that the defendant had acted negligently. He had not had due regard to the duty of care he owed in respect of controlled waste. Mr Branch expressed remorse, apologised for his actions and said that he had been stupid for ignoring correspondence. The Magistrates ordered him to pay a fine of £500, costs to Mendip District Council of £2,703.39 and a Victim Surcharge of £50, totalling £3,253.39. As a householder, you have a legal obligation (duty of care) to take all reasonable measures to ensure that your waste is disposed of properly. The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations require all householders to make sure their waste is only removed from their premises by registered waste carriers. These include any private waste collector who holds a waste carrier’s licence issued by the Environment Agency. Cllr Heather Shearer, portfolio holder for Community Health and Services noted: “It is a legal responsibility for businesses operating in our district to make sure that they’re playing by the rules and disposing of their waste properly and keeping records. The Magistrates have sent a strong message out by recognising  the harm being caused to the environment when businesses fail to act appropriately.  I hope other businesses take note of this and if they’re not doing so already, start keeping notes of their disposed waste.”

One comment

  • Unless I am very much mistaken (© Murray Walker) the vehicle in the photograph is a white Ford Transit registration Y801LCY the MOT for which expired in August 2018 and the last vehicle tax expired in May 2020. As for when it was last insured. . . . .
    I wonder what else this “businessman” has cheated on – fly-tipping? running on red diesel? Will he actually pay his fine?

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