Lit­ter fines are sim­ply not fair

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

NEW data about lit­ter fines re­veal a stag­ger­ing dif­fer­ence be­tween South­port and the rest of Sefton.

The data, ob­tained by the Vis­iter, show that an in­cred­i­ble 77% of fines paid for littering through­out the bor­ough were from of­fences com­mit­ted in South­port. That’s £104,972 out of £134,962.

While we should praise the coun­cil for tack­ling the prob­lem, to have such an im­bal­ance is not right.

We all want to live in a clean and tidy town, so of course it is im­por­tant that the is­sue is ad­dressed by the coun­cil to pun­ish those who drop lit­ter and make messes (and of course, res­i­dents and vis­i­tors must take more re­spon­si­bilty).

How­ever, this praise can only truly be ap­plied if the ac­tion is be­ing taken equally over the whole of Sefton.

Yes, South­port is busier than most places in Sefton and there­fore at­tracts more vis­i­tors – but does that ac­count for the dis­par­ity?

The whole is­sue feels much like the pay and dis­play saga which now up­sets so many in the town. It started off as an idea with good mo­tives – to en­sure a good turnover of park­ing spa­ces to help lo­cal busi­nesses get more cus­tom.

But the worry – with Sefton Coun­cil just hav­ing faced £64m bud­get cuts – is that these two schemes are now in­creas­ingly be­ing seen as pre­dom­i­nantly rev­enue rais­ers rather than ways of im­prov­ing our com­mu­nity.

If war­dens are dis­pro­por­tion­ately tar­get­ing peo­ple in South­port ahead of those in all other ar­eas in Sefton, this has be­come a stealth tax on res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to South­port – and that is bla­tantly un­fair.

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