East Renfrewshire Council is being urged to take tougher action against fly-tippers after it recorded more than 1,000 incidents in the space of 21 months but failed to refer any of them to prosecutors.

There has also been criticism after new figures revealed not a single fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping was issued in the area during that time.

Councillor Paul Aitken, who represents Barrhead as an Independent, said: “I have fought against brown bin charges and the various closures of council-run recycling centres over the past couple of years.

“I am frustrated that council officers haven’t done more to prevent fly-tipping or to assist prosecutions of fly-tippers.

“I call upon the council to lead by example and start taking enforcement action immediately.”

The data emerged after the Scottish Liberal Democrats submitted a Freedom of Information request to all 32 councils across the country.

A total of 1,060 fly-tipping incidents were recorded in East Renfrewshire between September 2019 and May 2021 but no prosecutions have taken place and none of the culprits were handed a fixed penalty notice.

The Gateside Road area of Barrhead is among the locations where fly-tipping has caused a blot on the landscape.

Willie Rennie, communities spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said a failure to take action against fly-tippers has effectively led to “legalised littering.”

He added: “We need to see local authorities using the powers at their disposal to clamp down on this disgusting behaviour and ensure that repeat offenders especially feel the full force of the law.”

Council chiefs described fly-tipping as “a blight on our community.”

A spokesperson added: “We would encourage residents to continue to report any instances to us.

“It can be difficult to find those who are guilty of fly-tipping, as they tend to do it in areas where they are unlikely to be seen.

“Our priority is to keep East Renfrewshire clean, so our teams clear any reported fly-tipping as quickly as possible.

“Where it is possible to identify those responsible, our staff will investigate and take necessary action, as appropriate.”