FINING residents who refuse to comply with new bins scheme “is the only way to ensure it is successful”, a Basildon senior councillor has insisted as he urged Southend to use the same tactic.

Basildon Council has come under fire from residents for dishing out fly-tipping fines to residents who leave out black sacks or overfill their bins, but Kevin Blake (pictured inset), the councillor behind the scheme, insisted the fines are the best deterrent.

In Basildon, rubbish sacks have already been replaced with wheelie bins and containers in a move with a number of similarities to Southend’s proposed new waste scheme.

Basildon Council has dished out more than 75 fly-tipping fines since the bin scheme was introduced in March and has even used cameras to catch out residents.

Issuing advice to Southend Council, he urged the council to crack down hard on repeat offenders.

Mr Blake said: “If people are not abiding by the rules, then we will enforce. For the first offence we try to educate, but if residents do it again, then we will take action.

“We have people leave black bags by the side of it, and we aren’t collecting them. We will educate first, but then it is enforcement as enough is enough.

“I think other authorities should take note of what we are doing.

“The biggest thing is to stick by your guns but to accept constructive criticism like we did with the types of bags. We accept it hadn’t gone 100 per cent to plan, and we were flexible. We didn’t let it become set stone, until it is right.

“People don’t like change but once they accept it, it works. Enforcement action is then the way if people don’t want to learn or accept it.

“It is a learning curve for everyone. It is a case of doing for our future generation, not just for now.”

Once Southend Council’s new waste contract comes into play next year, residents could also be hit with fixed penalty notices for overflowing bins or leaving out additional black sacks.

Tony Cox, leader of Southend Council, added: “We have said what we will do. First of all before anything is education and the soft approach.

“After having weekly collection we intend not to have a rigid policy straight away as people get used to them.

“But after that is when we could look at following that path.”