£75 spot fines for lit­ter louts

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kentish Express Time Capsule From Our Archives - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Lit­ter­bugs will soon face on the spot £75 fines as part of a new coun­cil crack­down.

Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil has an­nounced the 12-month trial to is­sue fixed penalty no­tices, which will be ad­min­is­tered by pri­vate firm King­dom.

It fol­lows news last week that the coun­cil has failed to is­sue a sin­gle fine for lit­ter­bugs in the last three and a half years, prompt­ing calls for stronger ac­tion to be taken.

The coun­cil will take £28.50 from each fine while King­dom will take £46.50.

The coun­cil an­tic­i­pates is­su­ing be­tween 40 and 80 fines per week with a pay­ment rate of 75%, while those who refuse will be pur­sued in court.

Cllr Clair Bell, who is the coun­cil port­fo­lio holder re­spon­si­ble for bor­ough pre­sen­ta­tion, said she hopes to ex­tend the scheme around parks, open spa­ces and ceme­ter­ies in the bor­ough.

She said: “In or­der to re­gen­er­ate the town cen­tre and at­tract tourism it is vi­tal that our bor­ough is clean and well pre­sented. Per­pe­tra­tors should pay for the blight they bring to our town.”

The com­pany will em­ploy three war­dens, two of whom will pound the streets of Ash­ford, while the other will tar­get lit­ter louts in Ten­ter­den.

The new lit­ter war­dens will wear uni­forms sim­i­lar to those of park­ing at­ten­dants who al­ready work for the coun­cil, which in­clude body cam­eras and an iden­tity badge.

They will be able to pa­trol high foot­fall ar­eas across the bor­ough as the scheme pro­gresses, and the war­dens will also be able to flex­i­bly deal with any ex­tra re­quire­ments or ma­jor events.

It is part of coun­cil leader Gerry Clark­son’s man­i­festo pledge to crack­down on the lit­ter­bugs.

At last month’s cabi­net meet- ing 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.

“Let no­body be in any doubt about our re­solve to stop those who are flout­ing the rules.”

Coun­cil cabi­net mem­bers will dis­cuss the plan at a meet­ing in the cham­ber at the Civic Cen­tre in Tan­nery Lane tonight at 7pm.

Lit­ter around Ash­ford

Cllr Clair Bell

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