Time for ac­tion on lit­ter louts

Time to tar­get those who drop, says coun­cil­lor

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A coun­cil­lor says tough words must be backed up by ef­fec­tive ac­tion to stop lit­ter louts trash­ing the streets.

Cllr David Smith (Ind) be­lieves it is time to hit those drop­ping and dump­ing rub­bish with harsher penal­ties.

It fol­lows a Free­dom of Information re­quest by the Ken­tish Ex­press which re­vealed that Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil has is­sued NO lit­ter­ing fines in the last three-and-a-half years.

That is despite coun­cil leader Cllr Gerry Clark­son (Con) telling his fel­low coun­cil­lors that he is “sick” of peo­ple blam­ing the coun­cil in­stead of those flout­ing the rules.

But Cllr Smith fears that coun­cil staff are al­ready un­der pres­sure and are too thin on the ground to make a dif­fer­ence to stop the prob­lem.

He said there have even been ex­am­ples where offenders have been re­ported to the coun­cil only for no ac­tion to be taken.

Cllr Smith said: “Ed­u­ca­tion is a ma­jor part of tack­ling the prob- lem but you can’t ed­u­cate some peo­ple who don’t want to lis­ten.

“Fixed penalty no­tices need to be done, es­pe­cially when you know where the rub­bish is and have got ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing.”

Cllr Clark­son made his com­ments at a cab­i­net meet­ing in May 2014 and re­peated his frus­tra­tion at a cab­i­net meet­ing last month.

Two years ago it led to the launch of the Sir Lit­ter­not cam­paign but he ad­mit­ted sim­ply en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple not to drop lit­ter was not hav­ing a big enough im­pact.

He said: “I get let­ters and see in the press how the coun­cil gets blamed for the lit­ter prob­lem but we aren’t the ones drop­ping it.

“So those who are do­ing it will face a heavy fine. The wil­ful dis­re­gard for ev­ery­one else is sim­ply not fair on the pub­lic.

“We are on the move, let no­body be in any doubt about our re­solve to stop those who are flout­ing the rules.”

Cllr David Smith, right, has called for fixed penalty no­tices to be is­sued to those who drop lit­ter

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