A call has been made for stronger action to clear Spalding’s streets of spitting.
The “truly filthy habit” has been highlighted as a major scourge in the town centre, prompting one district councillor to call for anyone caught doing it to face an on-the spot fine.
At a meeting of South Holland District Council last week, Coun Angela Newton asked if members if they would consider looking into the introduction of a new by-law, as recently adopted by other council across the country.
Recently the London Borough of Enfield had applied to the Secretary of State for Local Government Eric Pickles for provisional approval to introduce such a by-law, which would make spitting in the street a criminal offence, and received cross-party support.
A new by-law would put spitting in the same category as dog fouling and urinating in the street.
In other areas where by-laws have been introduced, people caught spitting are fined £80.
Mr Pickles said: “Spitting is a deeply anti-social and unpleasant practice.
“Spitting in Britain’s streets is not socially acceptable.”
Enfield could see its new by-law introduced as soon as next month.
It would make it an offence to spit in the street “without reasonable excuse”. It would not cover spitting into a handkerchief or tissue.
Coun Newton said: “Could we pick up on this because spitting in the street is a pretty disgusting habit.”
Portfolio holder for regulatory services Malcolm Chandler replied that by-laws are “becoming things of the past”, but said the Government was looking at replacing existing Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs), which can restrict the consumption of alcohol, with a Community Protection Order (Public Space), which would help tackle a range of anti-social behaviour including spitting.
Following the district council meeting, Coun Gary Taylor, whose Castle ward includes the town centre, said he believed the majority of people would support taking stronger action against the problem.
He said: “Spitting in the street is a truly filthy habit.
“We should all treat our environment and streets with respect.
“It may be accepted in some cultures, but we do not tolerate graffiti, litter or spitting.
“The message needs to be sent out that you will be fined if you treat our streets like a toilet.
“Hopefully that would make certain people think again before forcing us all to suffer because of their lack of respect.”