Powerless to issue littering fines

Litter on a Blackpool street.

Litter on a Blackpool street.

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IRRESPONSIBLE neighbours littering their streets with household waste will no longer be fined for causing trouble.

A controversial overhaul of Government rules will see councils stripped of their power to apprehend people who overfill their bins, put rubbish out on the wrong day, or fail to recycle.

This has angered one leading Neighbourhood Watch member, who claims people will no longer be stopped from making their streets look untidy.

Des Pulford, 71, of St Annes Road, South Shore said: “If this comes in it’s going to be absolutely horrendous because there will be no way of catching the people who cause the problems.

“I’m always having to ring the council to come and pick up rubbish dumped next to my house.

“This causes me a lot of hassle and if the fines are stopped there’s going to be a lot more rubbish being dumped.”

Communities secretary Eric Pickles MP has said he wants families to be rewarded for the amount they recycle rather than targeted.

While in opposition, the Tories accused Labour of using waste fines as a “stealth tax” and last year the Government downgraded the fixed penalty fine for households flouting the rules from £110 to £80.

Arnold Sumner, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, wants more people to take responsibility for their waste to help attract people to the town.

He added: “We get a lot of residents who put their black bin bags out on the wrong day and they are ripped open by seagulls and foxes.

“A £1,000 fine is ridiculous, but we have still got to get the whole community behind us with this, because if we want a nice town we should all take responsibility for it.

“We are trying to make St Annes an attractive place for people to come into, but if they see litter all over the place people won’t want to visit.”

Fylde Council confiscates the bins of people who persistently put their bin out on the wrong day and charge £32.50 to re-claim it.

A spokesman said: “To have the potential to issue fines is useful as a final resort, but we always prefer to educate householders rather than issue fines.

“We don’t like to use them but there are some extreme circumstances where we have to do so.”

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport at Blackpool Council, said: “We have never had a heavy-handed approach to people that have not overfilled their bins or caused a problem in the neighbourhood.

“What we have done is talk to the people involved and talk to teams about people who may not be aware of procedures.”

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