Readers in south Lincolnshire back £75 fine for discarded butt

Dropping a cigarette end cost a Bourne smoker a �75 on the spot fine.
Dropping a cigarette end cost a Bourne smoker a �75 on the spot fine.

Readers are backing the council which handed a £75 on the spot fine to a smoker who dropped a cigarette butt in Bourne.

South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) said the fine – issued on September 3 – will serve as “warning to those who flout the rules” on dropping litter in the streets.

Coun Gambba-Jones understood most fines were given for incidents where rubbish was presented on the street too early for collection.

But it’s emerged SKDC has issued only three on-the-spot fines for street littering so far this year – and South Holland District Council (SHDC) hasn’t issued any because it didn’t have a member of staff available to do the job.

When we published the SKDC story online, or website and Facebook readers nearly all backed fines for dropping cigaretees.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, whose SHDC portfolio includes waste, revealed this week that the council has re-jigged its priorities so it can have someone working on street littering enforcement.

“He will have the powers, once he’s been trained, to issue a ticket,” said Coun Gambba-Jones.

But he says the council has been issuing fixed penalty notices – including eight this year – where rubbish or fly-tipping is reported, but Coun Gambba-Jones understood most were given for incidents where rubbish was presented on the street too early for collection.

SKDC’s executive manager for environment, Ian Yates, said: “If you smoke please remember cigarette stubs are not biodegradable so need to be disposed of appropriately.

“Remember if you drop an item, we all have to pay for someone else to pick it up.

“The vast majority of smokers always dispose of the cigarette ends correctly, stubbing them out and placing them in our bins.

“Our teams monitor and patrol public areas across the district and educate residents and visitors on the problems litter creates.

“This fine is the warning though to those who flout the rules that sometimes enforcement is the only option.”

An SHDC spokesman said: “We take the issue of littering seriously and through our successful Pride in South Holland campaign we are working hard to keep the district clean.

“We have established a new Pride in South Holland officer who will actively engage with the public to discuss litter issues and offer advice if needed. However, offenders should be in no doubt, we will continue to issue on the spot fines if necessary.”