Published: Monday, 8th Apr 2019

A fast food boss must pay a £3,000 bill after repeatedly ignoring requests to clean up.

Little ItalyVignesha Patel, manager of Little Italy in Astley Bridge, appeared at Bolton Magistrates’ Court this week charged with an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The court heard how Mr Patel, 33, had allowed rubbish to pile up at the rear of his business, leaving bins overflowing with used food boxes balanced on top.

Council enforcement officers visited the eatery in Blackburn Road in September last year and found that trade waste bins at the back of the property were left open and unlocked.

This was the latest in a number of enforcement visits to Little Italy, prompted by complaints from people living nearby about the build-up of waste in the back street.

When challenged about his behaviour, Mr Patel claimed he could not see why local residents would take issue with piles of rubbish being left in the public street.

Having previously offered him informal advice, given official warnings and issued fixed penalty notices, the enforcement team decided there was no alternative but to prosecute Mr Patel.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge, but failed to attend court for the scheduled trial.

Hearing the case in his absence, magistrates fined Mr Patel £2,000 and ordered him to pay £923 of costs together with a £170 victim surcharge.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said:

“This business owner has continually put the health and safety of residents at risk by flouting the law and ignoring his legal responsibility to dispose of food waste properly.

“Despite attempts to engage positively with this repeat offender, we have been forced to take the strongest possible action to protect the Bolton public.

“The prosecution sends a clear message that no business is above the law and that we will use every means at our disposal to hold irresponsible owners to account.”

Under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act, businesses that generate waste must take reasonable steps to make sure rubbish is stored and disposed of properly.