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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Council cracks down on litter louts


Bin it – or pay the consequences! That’s the message to litter louts from Cheshire East Council.

As part of an ongoing drive to clean up our streets and parks, Cheshire East’s team of Community Wardens continue to patrol in order to catch people who drop their litter instead of putting it in a bin.

During the last 12 months, Community Wardens have caught numerous litter offenders and issued more than 100 fixed penalty notices with a fine of £75.

Recent action includes a successful prosecution against an offender from Crewe, who tried to avoid paying the fixed penalty.

Tomasz Baranowicz, of Hungerford Road, Crewe, was found guilty in his absence and fined £350 and ordered to pay £209.50 costs by Crewe magistrates on October 15, after failing to pay a litter fixed penalty issued for dropping litter from his vehicle. The offence happened in Ford Lane, Crewe, on March 17.

The wardens will continue to take similar action against people caught offending in this manner.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Carelessly throwing your litter from a car window is an illegal activity and will result in £75 fixed penalty notice being issued directly to drivers caught in the act. 

“Not only is it unacceptable to deposit your waste on the roadside, it also spoils our beautiful picturesque countryside, affects tourism and costs thousands of pounds each year to clear up.

”The most annoying thing about road litter is that it is wholly preventable – all motorists have to do is take their litter home, or use a bin.”

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “It’s an ongoing battle to keep our roads clear and looking tidy and we really need drivers’ help to achieve it. 

“Not only is littering unsightly and dangerous if blown into the windscreen of other vehicles, it can also be harmful to wildlife.  We appeal to road users to take their litter home and to stop throwing it out of their car windows.

“Clearing large volumes of needless litter on our road network is a burden on the public purse and on the resources of the Council. It is also dangerous to remove, as it puts our clean-up staff at risk from oncoming traffic.
“At a time when the council has to provide vital services to residents on increasingly tight budgets, this is an expense we can ill afford – as well environmental vandalism.”

Cheshire East Council spent £2.8m on street cleaning in its first financial year. This figure includes mechanical sweeping, manual litter picking, emptying bins, removal of fly-tipping, fly-posters and graffiti and the removal of glass, needles and hazardous products.

A Keep Britain Tidy study found roads and verges are some of the most littered parts of the country. The research showed 22 per cent of lorry drivers and 20 per cent of all motorists admitted to throwing rubbish from their vehicles in the previous six months.

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