A TAKEAWAY has been ordered to fork out more than £3,000 after its food scraps began to attract vermin.

Southend Council was bombarded with complaints about Westcliff Fish Bar, in London Road, centring on how it was disposing of its waste.

The business was alleged to have been grouping its commercial waste within the general household waste.

Residents claimed the takeaway had been disposing of its food waste outside the business, and subsequently it was being scavenged by animals prior to collection.

As a result, a significant amount of waste was strewn across the area.

Carole Mulroney, Southend Council cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Every business in the borough has a duty of care to manage and dispose of their commercial waste appropriately.

“This does not mean trying to hide it within household waste to avoid paying for commercial collections, or allowing it to litter their community.”

Initial complaints dated back to June 2019, with the council attempting to engage with the business and encourage them to dispose of waste appropriately.

However, following a continued refusal, the business was issued with a fine for the repeated littering of their area.

The business was also ordered to provide details of their waste collection arrangements.

As the business failed to pay the fine and also failed to provide information on their waste, the council initiated legal action and the case was heard at Southend Magistrates Court on January 22.

Business owners failed to attend and were fined £1,500 for failing to pay the fine, and £1,500 for failing to have appropriate waste disposal plans.

Westcliff Fish Bar was also ordered to pay £195 in costs and £150 victim surcharge.

Mrs Mulroney added: “I am pleased that residents were confident enough to provide us with the relevant information so that we have been able to prosecute the business.

“We must make clear, we will only pursue legal action as a last option, we will always seek to advise and support businesses in these types of situations.

“However, after being repeatedly ignored, we had no alternative but to take this to the courts.”

Disposing commercial waste within general waste is not permitted under duty of care regulations.