Softly softly approach to litter introduced in Canterbury but fines set to start in January 2013

Contributed by editor on Dec 30, 2012 - 09:58 AM

Canterbury City Council has brought in two officers to enforce litter laws in the city and town centres.

The initiative, which began at the beginning of December is a four-month trial so that the council can assess the extent of the litter problem in the district, see how many fines are issued and gauge public opinion.

During December, the officers patrolled but only issued warnings.

However, between January and March, fines will be handed out to anyone who they see dropping litter.


Initially Canterbury city centre will be targeted but they will also be patrolling in Herne Bay and Whitstable.

Litter includes anything discarded onto the street by an individual, including sweet wrappers, apple cores, cigarette ends, cans, bottles and fast food packaging.

The cost of the project is being met from existing council budgets and money from fines. Income levels are not being predicted, but any surplus could be put into environmental improvements such as litter bins or flowerbeds.

Executive member for enforcement, Cllr Andrew Cook, said: “One of our Corporate Plan priorities, developed following consultation with local people, is for a cleaner and greener district, so this initiative is part of our work to meet this pledge.

“Other councils have put their litter enforcement out to private companies, with the motive being profit, and they tend to take a very hard line and raise tens of thousands of pounds in fines. But Canterbury has never been a council where issuing lots of environmental fines has been our approach.

“We are managing this project in-house so that we continue to take responsibility for this work. Once the trial is over, we will look at how it went, take into account comments from traders and the public and then decide on the way forward.”

© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2012

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