Councillors have called for tougher action to crack down on fly-tippers amid concerns existing penalties are not deterring offenders.

Labour member for Burnt Oak Sara Conway last night (June 12) called for a “comprehensive and effective communications programme on education and enforcement” to address fly tipping, which Labour claims costs the borough £500,000 a year.

Speaking at a meeting of the community leadership and libraries committee, she called for a report into the issue to be brought to the next committee meeting in October.

She said: “It is a crime that is going up, and we think there needs to be proper engagement with communities, and education.”

Ms Conway suggested bringing back skips and bulky item collections, adding: “I have been sent so many pictures of rubbish I have run out of space on my phone.

“It is particularly an issue in disadvantaged wards. It is something residents would really welcome some action on.”

Kiran Vagarwell, strategic lead for safer communities, said there would be a paper on anti-social behaviour in March 2019 that would look at fly-tipping and consider a multi-agency response to the problem.

Ms Conway said: “On certain roads, rubbish around the area contributes to a general feeling of neglect. I worry that March is too long a way off.

“It already seems, six weeks in, that we are going round in circles while rubbish is piling up.”

But Ms Vagarwell said the council had identified fly-tipping hotspots and was already tackling offenders.

Labour member for Burnt Oak Charlie O-Macauley made a recommendation to bring community skips back into the borough to allow people to dispose of their bulky waste.

But when asked where the funding for the skips would come from, Cllr O-Macauley did not make a specific proposal.

Conservative member for High Barnet Cllr David Longstaff said the cost of bringing the skip service back to Barnet would be £300,000.

Cllr O-Macauley’s request will be referred to the policy and resources committee.

Chairman of the committee Cllr Reuben Thompstone thanked Cllr Conway for collecting information that could contribute to the report into anti-social behaviour in March.

He added: “I very much welcome the fact that you have brought this to officers’ attention. It is going to be included in anti-social behaviour in March, and if you can keep collecting information it will be very helpful to us.”