Council bosses have given their approval to a new scheme aimed at cracking down on flytipping.

Braintree Council cabinet members gave their backing to plans to hand out on-the-spot penalty notices to anyone caught dumping waste illegally in the district.

The move comes following a change in government legislation which has given councils greater powers to penalise flytippers.

Braintree Council will look to issue an immediate £300 fine to anyone caught in the act of dumping their rubbish, however there is a £120 discount for anyone who pays the money within the first ten days.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting where the tougher punishments were approved, environment boss Wendy Schmitt said: “As an authority we work very hard regarding flytipping and we have had a great deal of success in finding members of the public who do flytip.

“We think fines are really quite a good idea because if we catch someone flytipping we have to take them to court and this can be a very lengthy process – it can take up to a year to go through the court system and obviously its very time-consuming for officers when we would rather have them out there catching more.

“This new penalty is treating them with fixed penalty notices just like littering.

“It will be another piece in our armoury for stopping people who flytip.”

The council will still be able to take flytipping cases deemed severe or deliberate through the courts if it hopes to secure tougher penalties against culprits.

During the meeting, opposition leader and Green councillor for Silver End and Cressing James Abbott said he fully supported the new powers but called for more CCTV to be installed to help catch flytippers.

He added: “In the rural areas, there aren’t enforcement officers wandering up and down the roads waiting for somebody to flytip and there are very few people other than local residents.

“But what we do have is the option for little mobile CCTV units.

“The information we have got locally is there is a bit of a resource issue in terms of the number of cameras available.

“Maybe that’s wrong but that’s what I’m flagging up – have we got enough of them and do we need to invest in more?”

Mrs Schmitt said installing extra cameras would depend on how severe cases of flytipping were in certain areas.