A PLUMBER was left reeling when during a spot check to test for illegal diesel he was landed with a £300 fine for illegally carrying waste.

David Jolly, along with his 19 year-old apprentice James Crilly, were driving to a job in Farnworth when they were flagged down by police checking for red diesel.

His fuel was fine — but he was staggered when a council inspector handed him an on-the-spot fine for carrying an old radiator and a piece of twisted copper piping — residue from a job he had worked on, in the back of his van.

Mr Jolly, who runs Little Lever Gas Services Ltd and lives in nearby Radcliffe, said that he was told that because he did not have a licence to transport waste costing £150, he would have to pay a £300 fine.

Now he is warning other businesses to be on their guard.

The 58 year-old former fireman said: “I was stopped by the police and passed the diesel test but then an inspector who came up and demanded to see what was in the back of my van and I told him my tools were in there.

“When he saw the radiator I had taken out when I was fitting new central heating for a customer, he said I wasn’t licensed to carry waste and would be fined. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“I’m so angry with the council — it’s just another way to get a lot of money out of a working man. I have taken on an apprentice and always tell him to tidy up and leave the customer’s house clean and the customer happy — what will he think now?

“The radiator was from a job I had done and I had bent a piece of copper piping so I could get it into the van.

“I was saving up for a new drill and that fine has taken all the money I had saved up and left me really out of pocket this week.”

A council spokesman said: “If you transport controlled waste in the course of your business or in any way for profit, you are legally required to register as a waste carrier, even if only in small quantities. A licence must be obtained from the Environment Agency.

“The council acted in line with this ruling and is enforcing it in partnership with Greater Manchester Police as part of the Farnworth Beat Sweep operation.”

The fine was issued under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 which also covers the Control of Pollution Act 1989.

The spokesman added: “All people carrying waste commercially must have a licence. This allows them to dump waste at the tip without paying any extra — but they must have a waste transfer note from the tip.

“It is the responsibility of anyone who starts up a business to know how the law affects them but the council did advertise in the press and informed people at the area forums when the 2005 act came in.”