Time for action on litter louts
Time to target those who drop, says councillor
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