£75 spot fines for litter louts
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