Leader of Douglas Borough Council Councillor David Christian JP has said that ‘the time for education is over’ if the town is to be rid of litter.
‘The Council, through the borough warden service, will be stepping up action against those who infringe its byelaws, in particular those relating to litter and dog fouling,’ said Councillor Christian, adding: ‘Although the borough wardens dealt with some 860 cases during the past year fewer than 20 fixed-penalty notices were issued. That is set to change.
‘19 litter “hot spots” have been identified around the town, 10 of which - all in high profile locations - the team will be targeting over the coming weeks. The Council wishes to make it clear it will be relentless in its pursuit of offenders, individuals and businesses alike, issuing fixed penalty notices to all those who infringe the byelaws. Of particular concern is the number of businesses and pubs in Lower Douglas failing to comply with legislation that requires them to keep the outside of their premises - front and back - clear of litter. To those the Council is sending out a warning: the borough wardens will be entering the premises, fixed penalty notices will be issued and the area monitored for signs of improvement.
‘In support of its efforts the Council is calling for government to introduce strongerlegislation, on the lines of the UK’s Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, to give local authorities wider powers to deal with environmental offences and other antisocial behaviour more effectively and swiftly.
‘In the meantime, though, the Council’s message is a simple one: littering is a criminal offence. If you are caught littering - and that includes dropping cigarette butts - you will be issued with a £50 on-the-spot fixed penalty notice and you could risk a court prosecution for crimes such as dog fouling offences.’