COUNCILS have been attacked by the Government for not getting tough on litterbugs and irresponsible dog owners.
But Kirklees Council chiefs are adamant: We're doing our bit!
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is concerned that authorities are not making full use of their powers to fine people for littering, graffiti, fly-tipping, noise nuisance and dog fouling.
They are also worried that authorities are not chasing up people who do not pay their fines.
But Kirklees Council says that there is no such problem here.
Steve Noble, assistant director of the council's environmental services, said: "We have an enforcement team and covert cameras.
"The simple message is that if you fly-tip or dump litter in Kirklees, you will get caught."
Defra's figures show that just 20,000 fines were issued in Britain for environmental crimes between April 2004 and March 2005.
Even worse, 40% of those fines were never paid.
More than 17,000 of the fines were for litter - 8,021 of which were not paid.
Dog fouling led to 2,329 fines - and 633 were unpaid.
Defra's figures came from 354 local authorities in Britain.
They showed 142 authorities had issued no fines at all. In 33 authorities, less than half the fines they had issued had been paid.
Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Local Environmental Quality, said he would write to authorities with poor records to urge them to do better.
He also wants them to make full use of powers under the newly-introduced Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.
"People will only take these fines seriously if local authorities take them seriously," he said.
In Kirklees, environmental officers have been serious about punishing perpetrators.
Between April 2004 and March 2005, six fines were issued for dog fouling.
Seventy-three fines were issued for littering during the same period. No fines were issued for noise.
Since April 2005, Kirklees Council has issued 117 fines for littering, 11 for dog fouling and two for noise.
All of the fines were paid - except one for noise. The perpetrator was prosecuted and found guilty.
Fixed penalty notices are not issued in Kirklees for fly-posting.
Mr Noble said: "The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act makes the application of legislation easier. But it did not in itself spur us into being more active, because we were already one of the most active authorities on these issues."
Mr Noble said most noise complaints were resolved by the night time noise team - introduced in October 2004 - without the need for fines.
A BUSINESSMAN has been fined £5,000 for dumping rubbish in Huddersfield.
Raza Malik, of Elizabeth Street in Elland, was fined at Huddersfield Magistrates' Court.
He had pleaded guilty after being prosecuted by Kirklees Council Environmental Services for fly-tipping at Kilner Bank in Dalton.
Malik had dumped large amounts of rubbish from his business, Raza One Stop in Elland.
Among the debris was business mail, which was used by Kirklees officials to trace the rubbish back to Malik.
They had been alerted to the fly-tipping after a complaint from a police community support officer.
It cost Kirklees Environmental Services £500 to clean up the waste.
As well as being fined, Malik was ordered to pay £600 to cover the clean-up cost.
Under the Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environmental Protection Act - which was introduced last year - he could have been fined up to £50,000 or faced five years in prison.
The Act puts a legal obligation on businesses to have their waste collected by a registered waste carrier.
The carrier should supply a waste transfer note, which should be kept for two years.
If a business cannot produce this note if asked by the council or national watchdog the Environment Agency it can fined up to £300.
Kirklees enforcement officers are also using the new Act to issue more on-the-spot fines to people caught committing litter offences.
Clr Ann Denham, Kirklees Cabinet's member for the environment, said the Malik case showed that fly-tipping was a serious matter.
She added: "The hefty fine will hopefully deter other potential fly-tippers.
"As well as working in partnership with the police, we also have many cameras installed at sites across the area.
"If you dump your household or trade waste you will be caught and prosecuted."
Clr Denham said anyone with bulky or excess rubbish could take it to one of the council's five recycling centres.
These are at Bent Ley Road in Meltham, Bromley Farm at Denby Dale, Emerald Street in Hillhouse, Nab Lane at Birstall and Weaving Lane in Dewsbury.
Bulky items can also be collected free. Call Kirklees Direct on 01484 414700.