Councillor Bob Baker: clamping down on litter louts
THE litter police will be out in force this month as they clamp down on the irresponsible louts who see areas of the northern Yorkshire Dales as their very own dustbin.
From Monday, anyone seen dropping litter, flyposting or spraying graffiti will receive instant, on the spot fines of up to £100 from Hambleton District Council's environment unit - and if that goes unpaid they will be taken to court.
There will also be fines for advertising cars for sale on a highway; repairing cars on a highway and abandoned vehicles.
And anyone caught fly tipping will face a maximum court fine of £50,000. Covert cameras will be watching known hotspots by the end of the month.
The new regime from the authority is part of its approach to the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. Posters warning residents of the changes were placed around the district last month (February).
"For many years we have taken a softly, softly approach to these problems but asking people to look after their environment does not seem to be enough," said Hambleton cabinet member, Councillor Bob Baker.
"So from March 5 we will be out and about issuing fixed penalty tickets and if necessary reporting offenders for summons. Hambleton is subject to a rising number of fly tipping incidents - people seem to think it is OK to dump their rubbish in our countryside rather than take it to the tip.
"Well they have been warned - we know who many of these offenders are and we will be watching. They will face stiff fines. We want the district to be a place where people are proud to live, work and socialise. There is no need to drop litter in the streets - be it a cigarette end or an empty sandwich wrapper. Use a bin or take it home.
"We are not going to put up with anyone else's rubbish any longer - it is payback time for offenders."
Dropping litter, spraying graffiti or flyposting will cost £80 (£60 if paid early); dog fouling £50; abandoning a car £200 (£120 if paid early); and selling or repairing cars on a public highway £100 (£60 if paid early).