Council takes tough stance over litter

A CRACKDOWN has been launched on a town centre scourge that costs taxpayers more than £80,000 every year.

Dave Gooderham

A CRACKDOWN has been launched on a town centre scourge that costs taxpayers more than £80,000 every year.

Council chiefs issued seven on-the-spot fines in just 90 minutes as part of their new hard-line stance on people littering the streets of Sudbury.

Despite £10,000 being spent on more than 20 new litter bins in the town centre, officers said they had witnessed people throwing away cigarettes butts just yards from designated ashtrays.

The fixed penalty notices were issued as an “alternative” to court prosecutions and would see the fine money ploughed back into street cleaning in the town.

James Buckingham, Babergh's principal environmental protection officer, said: “It's a shame that a minority of people don't seem to care about the town in which they live and work.

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“What was extraordinary is that all of these people concerned threw away their cigarette butts literally within a few yards of either a cigarette ashtray or bin.

“It really wouldn't have taken them too much trouble to dispose of their waste responsibly. The seven fixed penalty notices that we issued are really an alternative to prosecution in the courts and are aimed at deterring would-be litterers from defacing the environment again.

“The money raised goes directly back into paying for the streets to be swept to try to keep Sudbury clean and pleasant.”

Friday morning's operation saw officers from Babergh's environmental protection team focus on a small area in the centre of Sudbury around the town's Market Hill and North Street.

Officers now plan to periodically return to Sudbury town centre to conduct similar campaigns against litterers as well as at other 'hotspots' in the district.

Babergh officials estimate the annual cost to council taxpayers of cleaning up Sudbury town centre at nearly £80,000. The district council recently teamed up with Sudbury Town Council to invest about £10,000 on installing 22 new litter bins - all fitted with cigarette ashtrays - in the town centre.

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