A “strong message” has been sent to illegal dumpers in Renfrewshire after the first £500 fine for fly-tipping was handed out, the depute leader of the council has said.

The penalty imposed on perpetrators caught in the act was increased from £200 by the Scottish Government at the beginning of this year.

The local authority used the revised sanction in January, and a firm was subsequently fined.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, who is also an SNP representative for Johnstone South and Elderslie, commended the work of the council’s bespoke task force at the infrastructure, land and environment policy board on Wednesday.

She added: “The first £500 fine is great – sending a strong message to fly-tippers that Renfrewshire Council is looking out for them.”

An update report, authored by environment chief Gordon McNeil, explained: “Using captured footage, the first £500 fixed penalty notice was issued in January to a company, based outwith the authority, who fly-tipped in Paisley.”

Councillor James MacLaren, a Conservative representative for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank, said: “I would just like to congratulate the department on issuing their first £500 fixed penalty notice.

“I hope that made a difference and we won’t see that fly-tipper again and maybe other fly-tippers can take note of that.”

Figures highlighting the work of the task force confirmed 11 fines were issued in the first two months of the year.

The task force carried out 506 proactive patrols to hotspots between January 1 and February 29 and 48 tonnes of fly-tipping was removed during that period.

Earlier this month, Councillor Kenny MacLaren, an SNP representative for Paisley Northwest, said the revised fine should be a “warning” for anyone who treats Renfrewshire “like a dump” that it won’t be tolerated.

He said: “For some £500 is nothing to them, but increasing it to that in the first instance has been a good step. I just wouldn’t stop there.”