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Council wins green waste court case

An MP who lost a legal case against Birmingham City Council over charges for green waste collection must pay £13,101 in costs.

John Hemming MP

John Hemming MP

Liberal Democrat John Hemming, who holds the seat for Birmingham Yardley, took the Labour-run council to court over its policy of charging collection fees for green waste, which he argued had led to increased dumping across the city.

However, the decision went against Hemming and he must now foot the bill for the council’s court costs.

Hemming said: “In one sense I lost a battle in court today. However, possibly over 500 dumps of green waste [sic] have been cleared up as a result of the legal action although not all of the ones I highlighted were removed.”

Cllr Lisa Trickett, cabinet member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City, said: “We are pleased the courts have supported the view we have repeatedly expressed to Mr Hemming – we have made every effort to deal with the issue of dumped green waste during the transitional first year of our new chargeable service.

“We will continue to do everything within our powers, including working closely with residents, to keep the city as clean as possible, despite the challenging financial situation we face as a result of central government funding cuts to the council.”

Trickett also said the “pointless court action” had interfered wth council efforts to provide clean streets for residents.

The MP said he was likely to appeal the case and that his constituents had indicated they would like him to continue fighting the council on the issue.

Hemming’s blog reported in May that he was concerned about 18 dumps of green waste and was bringing legal action under S91 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

He wrote “Taking legal action against public authorities is risky because of the potential to be hit by their costs. However, the rules on rubbish and litter are that the council pays the costs if the litter is there when the application is made (which we have photographic evidence of for 17 of the sites)”.

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