Last night’s The One Show featured popular dissent in the Blaenau Gwent council area to zero-tolerance on littering and dog fouling. Amongst other complaints, there were anecdotal claims that parents of children in buggies had been issued with on-the-spot fines by a private contractor company when the latter dropped a piece of litter without their noticing.
The pursuit of minor littering offences – in defiance of Government guidelines not to do so – including one resident being issued with a fine for tossing a cigarette butt onto the street. She took it to magistrate’s court, and was acquitted on the grounds of insufficient evidence; thus diverting time and money from other targets in the court system.
It is reported that 50% of the £60,000 of fines which have been issued since October 2011 remain unpaid (although this still means that £30,000 of fines have been collected for the burgh council and private contractor). What came out in the various dissenting residents interviewed was that they agreed “something had to be done” about the lamentable litter record in the area; just that it should be directed at the worst offenders, and not a great many minor litterers whose cumulative effect adds to a larger problem.
Such cumunlative effects can be seen on Bignold Park in Wick, where local woman, Kerry Gunn expressed her disgust at it being used as an open-air shit hole for dogs. See also clean-up efforts by Surburban Community Council of the Vodka Trail around Moss-side of Nairn, as discussed by GraisG of the Gurn from Nurn.
Likewise, here in Caithness, private Castletown residents individuals recently gathered even more vodka bottles, as well as 700 empty tin cans and other litter.