The number of fixed penalty notices (FPN) issued by Angus Council staff to litter bugs has plummeted since the local authority introduced parking charges in the area.
Figures obtained by Angus South SNP MSP, Graeme Dey through a freedom of information request, show just one fine for littering was issued in 2019, against a high-point of 81 in 2017 – statistics Mr Dey described as “frankly woeful”.
The local authority has said enforcement should be a “final resort” against a small minority of people.
The figure fell to 15 in 2018 when parking charges were introduced and community wardens were deployed to enforce the controversial fees.
Fines issued for fly-tipping increased from three in 2017, to nine in 2019.
Mr Dey said: “I am sure the people of the county will share my concerns over these figures.
“The drop off in action around littering since 2017 is galling to say the least and it won’t be lost on council tax payers that this co-incides with the decriminalisation of parking and the deployment of community wardens to parking enforcement duties.”
He added: “Littering and fly tipping are real blights on the communities and countryside of Angus and people need to desist from these activities and show respect for the natural environment. But when offences are committed and the perpetrators identified we need the council to be prepared to take firm action.
“These figures are frankly woeful and it is little wonder we continue to see such high levels of littering and fly tipping.”
A spokesman for Angus Council said the authority had placed an emphasis on prevention and littering reduction through education and public engagement.
He said: “The investigation of such incidents can take significant time and resources, but the more information we receive, the better chance we have of tracing those responsible.
“Our community enforcement wardens carry out regular patrols to deter and prevent all forms of environmental anti-social behaviour.
“They will take enforcement action where appropriate and prior to lockdown, shift patterns had been adjusted to try and have more impact on these issues.”
The spokesman added there were more than 1,600 litter and dog waste bins available in the county, leaving no excuse for littering and fly tipping.
Incidents of fly-tipping can be reported to the council using the online form or by calling the access line on 03452 777 778.