HASTINGS has topped a survey of local authorities in Sussex blighted by the scourge of fly tipping.
The town had 3,448 incidents of people illegally dumping rubbish in the streets last year, according to latest figures released by a waste removal firm this week.
Brighton and Hove was the second worst hit authority in the county with 1,809 fly tipping cases.
Rother District Council, the local authority for neighbouring Bexhill, Battle and Rye, saw 967 throughout the same period.
The survey, which covered 325 councils across the country, was carried out by anyjunk.co.uk.
The maximum fine for anyone caught illegally dumping rubbish has now increased from £5,000 to £20,000.
Hasting Borugh Council was quick to dispute the figures released this week and said it took a tough stance against illegal dumping of waste in streets.
Councillor Phil Scott, the authority’s lead member for the environment, said: “We don’t believe we have a bigger problem in Hastings than elsewhere.
“We believe the data they (anyjunk.co.uk) are using to monitor this is fundamentally flawed.
“Different local authorities apply different criteria when determining what constitutes a fly tip.
“We take the enforcement of enviro-crime offences very seriously.
“Despite the budget cuts of earlier this year we have retained a specialist waste enforcement officer as well as eight street wardens, and several other staff all actively engaged in tackling problems like littering, dog fouling and fly tipping.
“We have recently successfully prosecuted one fly tipper in Hastings, and have several more cases in the pipeline.”