A man was fined £340 by a council for having the wrappers from his lunch in his van.

Waltham Forest Council now wants to take 43-year-old roof contractor Stewart Gosling to court over the issue.

Mr Gosling, from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire was visiting a family friend in Bury Road, Chingford, when he was pulled over by police and council officers.

They asked Mr Gosling if he held a waste licence for the area and he told them he did not.

Officers then fined him £340 on the spot when he says the only waste in the car at the time was a carrier bag of empty crisp packets and water bottles.

Mr Gosling said: “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.

“I’ve done this job for over 20 odd years and I never carry waste on my jobs; I just use skips and licensed waste carriers in the local area.

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

Mr Gosling has a waste licence with his local council, Hertfordshire County Council, and was told by Waltham Forest Council officers that he should be able to appeal the fine.

However, when he appealed there was a delay in the council getting back to him.

When his appeal was eventually rejected, Mr Gosling asked for clarification of the cost of the fine.

There was a further delay and when the cost of the fine was eventually clarified, Mr Gosling was away on holiday.

He has today been told that the council now plans to take him to court over his failure to pay up within a 10 day time limit.

A council spokesperson said: “The waste in this case was being transported in commercial refuse bag in the trader’s vehicle. Regardless of what the items are, if waste is being stored in a commercial refuse bag in a trader’s van it is necessary that they have a valid waste carriers licence.

“It is widely recognised as best practice for tradesmen to be licensed to avoid legal repercussions, in the event they are required to transport even small quantities of waste.”