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Tuesday 22 May

Councillors to discuss higher fines to deter litter

Anyone caught dropping litter, leaving graffiti or fly-posting in Swale could be fined £120 under plans being drawn up by Swale Borough Council.

The council is proposing raising the maximum fixed penalty notice (FPN) for the offences from their current £80 to £120 after new regulations came into force allowing council’s to increase the fines.

The existing £80 level has been in place since 2006, with 1,633 FPN’s issued in 2017/18, and more than 100 people taken to court for non-payment.

Any money left over after paying for the costs of the scheme is ring-fenced for environmental projects such as new litter bins, educational programmes and events to deter environmental crime.

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, said:

"The existing level has been in place for more than a decade, and we don’t think it reflects the costs – socially and economically – that these kinds of offences create.

"As well as costing council tax payers money to clean up, these offenders make areas feel less welcoming and attractive for local people.

"We were tempted to go further, and impose the maximum £150 level, but we have considered factors such as proportionality and affordability. We have aimed for a level that seems to get the balance right.

"In the last few years we’ve put in a lot of effort to increase the amount of litter enforcement with extra patrols being carried out.

"These are making a difference, but unfortunately there are still a thoughtless minority who believe they can get away with leaving a mess for others to clear up. We strongly hope the threat of increased fines makes them think again."

"Through our local engagement sessions and surveys we know that residents support these ‘on the spot fines’ for anyone caught dropping litter."

The proposals are being discussed by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, 30 May. If approved, the plans will then need to be agreed by full council on 13 June.

For more information about the council’s work to tackle litter across the borough, please visit our litter pages.  

Anyone caught dropping litter, leaving graffiti or fly-posting in Swale could be fined £120 under plans being drawn up by Swale Borough Council.

 

The council is proposing raising the maximum fixed penalty notice (FPN) for the offences from their current £80 to £120 after new regulations came into force allowing council’s to increase the fines.

 

The existing £80 level has been in place since 2006, with 1,633 FPN’s issued in 2017/18, and more than 100 people taken to court for non-payment.

 

Any money left over after paying for the costs of the scheme is ring-fenced for environmental projects such as new litter bins, educational programmes and events to deter environmental crime.

 

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, said:

 

“The existing level has been in place for more than a decade, and we don’t think it reflects the costs – socially and economically – that these kinds of offences create.

 

“As well as costing council tax payers money to clean up, these offenders make areas feel less welcoming and attractive for local people.

 

“We were tempted to go further, and impose the maximum £150 level, but we have considered factors such as proportionality and affordability. We have aimed for a level that seems to get the balance right.

 

“In the last few years we’ve put in a lot of effort to increase the amount of litter enforcement with extra patrols being carried out.

 

“These are making a difference, but unfortunately there are still a thoughtless minority who believe they can get away with leaving a mess for others to clear up. We strongly hope the threat of increased fines makes them think again.”

 

“Through our local engagement sessions and surveys we know that residents support these ‘on the spot fines’ for anyone caught dropping litter”.

 

The proposals are being discussed by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, 30 May. If approved, the plans will then need to be agreed by full council on 13 June.

 

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