OUR story about the council’s new team of litter officers generated a lot of discussion on our facebook page. Karen White: People that drop litter (not cigarette butts) infuriate the hell out of me.
Do as I was taught, put it in your bag or pocket and take it home with you, it’s not hard and keeps the town you live in clean. Everyone should want that. If people didn’t drop litter there would be no need for cleaners hence no fines to pay for them. xx Dan Mayers: I don’t like fines as a deterrent normally, as it’s always going to look like a money making scheme. Although I do agree we need something. This attitude of ‘there’s not enough bins’ is a very lazy excuse. I run and cycle everywhere, and the amount of cans and McDonalds packaging I see on the roadside is unforgivable. Is that because there are not enough bins in people’s cars? Matt Longson: Why would they put more bins in town? If they put more bins in town then there wouldn’t be so many fines. This nation is all about bleeding money out of people one way or another. Mike Dawson: The enforcement officers are NOT funded by the council, they are a private firm authorised by the council to issue fines on a commission rate of 40%. They are also fully authorised to uphold the law in respect of any littering offence. Legally speaking dropping cig butts is littering as has been for many years, although most people tend to think of littering as being paper waste etc. Sadly ignorance of the law is not a defence to avoid a fine being issued, nor is it the responsibility of the council to provide public ashtrays. I was advised to make sure any cigarettes are fully extinguished and drop it in the bin. Lastly, for those who say offenders should be let off for the 1st offence, why should they? How would any “officer” know if it was a 1st offence? The fact is an offence was committed, and although the fine is harsh it is what it is. I smoke, I was issued a fine, I grumbled, I paid. I’ll just be a bit more vigilant in future. Rowena Goodwin: These fines are a joke. All other towns that have these fines for dropping cigarette butts provide bins with ashtrays on the top. Macclesfield don’t provide any in the town centre yet they pat themselves on the back for catching people out. I’m not saying it’s right to drop cigarette butts but come on do they really want people to put them in the few bins they provide in the town centre and risk setting them alight? I know what I’ll be doing in future. Emma Budge: They need to be buying some cigarette bins with that fine money Paul Collier: Though maybe an afternoon or two litter picking would be a better deterrent/ education. Samantha Hall: Need sort out all the dog poo around town! It’s disgusting! Colin Jarvis: I know the non smokers will agree with this but to penalise hard working people having a cig on there break with know warnings can’t be right Lynda Peers: I walked down Bond Street yesterday I have never seen so much rubbish on the footpath and gutters it’s not like Macclesfield they are so good John Crazyface Bennett: Why don’t they just hang around on London Road, they’d make a fortune in fines EVERY DAY !!!!
Coun Paul Bates, from Cheshire East with the new fly tipping enforcement officers