SHOP owners have voiced their delight after fines for waste offences were cancelled.

As the Penarth Times reported last week, businesses in Dinas Powys were fined a total of £2,400 for offences including not having their waste containers locked in the period running up to Christmas last year.

But after an angry reaction from traders who felt they had been harshly treated by the council's environmental offences enforcement contractors 3GS, the fines were rescinded.

Emma Ware has run A Class Apart school uniform store for 12 years and said she did not know she was doing anything wrong.

She said: "I got two fines worth £300 each including one for not displaying a duty of care notice.

"When I contacted the council they said that 3GS issued the fine and 3GS told me it was council policy."

The local authority says it is now undertaking steps to make businesses aware of the standards they need to meet.

Ms Ware added: "They had not given us the knowledge of what was required but now we know."

Janice Mapstone who was run neighbouring Valley View Fruit Store for 20 years said she had never previously had an issue.

"It did not make sense as I wasn't littering because it is our land," she added.

"Councillor Vince Driscoll has been advising us and I would like to thank him for his support."

Dinas Powys community cllr Mr Driscoll said: "I am delighted that the local authority has seen sense and rescinded the fines issued to these small businesses for the most minor regulatory breaches.

"It was clear right from the outset that these fines were issued unfairly and I am very pleased to have helped the shopkeepers to resolve the matter.

"The Vale council had received no complaints about waste in the area and had not attempted to use discretion to ensure that regulations were being properly followed."

Miles Punter, the director of environment and housing services at the Vale council, said the authority asked 3GS to review the circumstances in which the businesses were issued with fixed penalty notices.

"We have since placed two adverts in the local press stressing the legal duties and standards businesses have to adhere to when it comes to recycling and waste," he said.

"We will also be undertaking a further exercise to highlight the responsibilities of commercial businesses in this respect in the coming weeks.

"The council has done much to help small businesses within the Vale.

"Town centres receive grants towards their Christmas lights switch-on celebrations, which helps attract visitors and boost trade.

"They also benefit from the support of our town centre development officer."

A spokesman for 3GS said he agreed with the decision to rescind the fines.