Litter louts forced to clean up their act as fines nearly double

Litter louts forced to clean up their act as fines nearly double

22nd February 2019

FINES for dropping litter in Tunbridge Wells are set to almost double as the Council get tough on litter louts.

Fixed Penalty Notices [FPNs] for discarding rubbish in the borough were £80, but from  April 1 they will rise to £150. There will also be no discount for paying the fine early.

The maximum penalty for an on the spot fine is set by central government, under Section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act. In 2017, the Government launched a new Litter Strategy with an ambition to be ‘the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than it found it’.

It noted that existing FPN levels were not high enough to be an ‘actual deterrent’, and the 2006 fines were adjusted in line with inflation.

A spokesperson for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: “The maximum fine for littering is set by central government, last year that amount was increased to £150.

“When deciding fees and charges, Cabinet gave their approval for the TWBC penalty to increase to the maximum £150, to take effect from 1 April 2019.”

The council has come under fire over littering in recent weeks with Southborough and High Brooms Councillor, Dianne Hill, claiming that her wards are neglected by litter enforcement officers, a charge denied by the council.

“The council’s waste and street team visits Southborough on a daily basis emptying litter bins and litter picking,” said Councillor Dr Ronen Basu, head of sustainability at TWBC.

“There is no excuse for littering and it’s only right that we impose the maximum penalty on those who think that it is ok to drop litter and leave it to be cleared up at the Council Tax payer’s expense.

“The vast majority of people don’t litter, they do what is right and find a bin or take their rubbish home.” He added.

Fines for littering are set to increase in Tonbridge and Malling too, but not by as much.

The new charge for littering, which is set to be imposed from April 1, will be £100, an increase of £20, and there will be discounted rate of £65 if the offender pays within 10 days of the notice being issued.

*Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has dismissed reports that bin lorries will be fitted with cameras to fine people for using the wrong bins or leaving them out in the street.

They say vehicles are already fitted with cameras for health and safety reasons, and the council or the contractor Urbaser, has no plans to use the cameras to fine people for either using the wrong bins or leaving them out in the street.

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