Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 09:18 UK

Councillors aid wheelie bin fine

Gareth Corkhill
Mr Corkhill refused to pay an on-the-spot fine

Members of a council which took a Cumbrian man to court for overfilling his wheelie bin, have offered to help pay his fine, a clergyman has said.

Gareth Corkhill, 26, of Whitehaven, was prosecuted by Copeland Council after he refused to pay an on-the-spot fine for overfilling his bin by four inches.

The Rev John Bannister, rector of Whitehaven, appealed for help to pay the 225 fine and costs.

He said he had already collected three times the required amount.

Mr Corkhill, a father-of-four, said the authority recently switched from weekly to fortnightly refuse collections and that the supplied bins were not big enough to cope.

'Warning shots'

Copeland Council said it had warned Mr Corkhill about his overfilled bin on previous occasions and would take similar action again if necessary.

But Rev Bannister criticised Copeland Council's "high handed" approach.

He said: "Since I asked people to help I have already received enough donations to pay Mr Corkhill's fine three times over.

"I have already had three elected members of Copeland Council offer donations towards this.

"It has divided the elected members of the council and it is an issue that should be looked at properly before scapegoating starts."

A council spokesman said: "Warning shots are fired across people's bows. We don't just go in and issue fixed penalty fines, that's not in our best interests.

"We all have a responsibility to tackle waste, not just the council."

Mr Corkhill said his family recycled as much waste as possible.

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24 Apr 08 |  Cumbria
Father fined for overfilling bin
22 Apr 08 |  Cumbria

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