Roofer fined by London council for having a rubbish bag in his van

Stewart Gosling age 43 from Cheshunt with his van. Credit:

A roofer was slapped with a £300 fine by a London council for keeping lunch wrappers in his work van - because he doesn't have a licence to carry waste.

Stewart Gosling, 43, kept the stash of empty crisp packets and water bottles in a plastic commercial waste bag in the back of his white van.

But when he was pulled over by council workers carrying out spot checks, they told him he was breaking the law for carrying the rubbish without permission.

He has tried to appeal the fine but has been told he will end up in court if he doesn't pay the penalty issued at the roadside.

Stewart said:

"It's so infuriating. The working-class man gets penalised for going to work basically.

"I've not fly-tipped. I've not left it in someone's garden.It's frustrated the hell out of me.

"There was just a bag of rubbish, bottles, crisp packets,newspapers and sandwich wrappers.

"What gets me is the lack of common sense. It's a lot of money for one bag of rubbish."

The roofing contractor was driving through Chingford in North East London when he was pulled over by Waltham Forest Council workers.

They searched his vehicle before asking him if he had a waste carriers' licence - required by any business that transports commercial refuse.

Stewart, a married father-of-four, said: "I got out of the van and he had a look.

"They were talking about a plastic bag around two feet high, which was filled with rubbish from my lunch.

"He just said, 'You're going to be fined'."

Stewart from Cheshunt, Herts was handed a fixed penalty notice for "failure to furnish documentation (waste carriers licence)".

He was ordered to pay £300 within 14 days of May 23, when the incident occurred.

Stewart said he appealed the sanction, but there was a "delay" in the council's response.

When he did find out his appeal was declined, he claims he asked for clarification on the cost of the fine but was on holiday when the local authority replied.

Stewart could be prosecuted for failing to pay the penalty on time, but says he has no plans to settle the fine.

He added: “It seems a bit steep to be honest. A warning would have been more understandable.

"It just aggravated me. It should be common sense. I had no idea you needed a waste licence, you have to be polite to these people but it annoyed me."