21 Oct 2016

Prosecution makes Wetherby pet shop owner ‘paws’ for thought

Leeds City Council environmental action enforcement officers were not barking up the wrong tree when they prosecuted a Wetherby pet shop owner who failed to ensure he was managing and disposing of his business waste legally.

Chris Jones of 7 Cross St Wetherby, the former proprietor at The Wetherby Pet Store (now closed) was fined £385 and must pay £695 costs and a £38 victim surcharge after being found guilty of 4 offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Mr Jones failed to turn up to two previous court hearings which resulted in him being arrested and bailed to attend court on 18 October 2016.

Environmental action officers received complaints in August 2015 that waste from Wetherby Pet Store was being illegally deposited in skips belonging to Wetherby Town Hall.

As the waste was clearly labelled as coming from the local pet store, environmental action officers served a legal notice Mr Jones requiring him to produce his business waste contract.

The legal notice wasn’t complied with so a £300 fixed penalty notice was issued to Jones. At the same time, Jones was served another legal notice requiring him to obtain a bin and have regular waste collections so he could dispose of his business waste legally.

Even after this notice was served, officers noted several instances where loose waste was found at the rear of the premises. Mr Jones failed the pay the fixed penalty notice.

He also failed to comply with the second legal notice and did not have a contract in place for his business waste.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for environment and sustainability, said:

“Businesses need to be really clear that they have a duty of care when it comes to how they dispose of their rubbish.

“Any reputable business – large or small – will ensure that the rubbish produced as they go about their daily work is disposed of properly and safely and does not create a blight for other business owners and members of public.

“Disposing of your business waste in a lazy and selfish way could ultimately end up hitting your bottom line and reputation when you end up in court.”

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Leeds City Council Communications team