Prosecute rubbish louts 'who don't give a damn'
PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2013
NORTH Somerset Council must stop paying lip service to tackling Weston's litter problem and come down hard on repeat offenders with fines and prosecutions.
That’s the view of an experienced councillor, who says people in his ward are growing increasingly angry at the rubbish being dumped on their streets.
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley says Weston hillside is being tarnished by thoughtless people ‘who don’t give a damn about where they live or their neighbours’ – and he believes they should face court action.
The Mercury has reported in recent weeks how the council has been running an awareness campaign designed to stop people filling the streets with waste through illegal dumping or by putting rubbish out on the wrong days.
But Cllr Crockford-Hawley says council action must go further than that.
He is now asking the authority’s executive member for waste Peter Bryant to prosecute repeat offenders who blight Weston by discarding rubbish in the streets.
The former mayor said: “There are people who are simply lazy and for whom a gentle nudge might create a more socially aware response to the problem but there are also some who just don’t care two hoots - they are the slobs of society and the only way to deal with them is through the courts.
“I was called out by neighbours on Sunday morning to view the mess. It was appalling and clearly the result of those residents who just don’t give a damn about where they live or their neighbours.
“Once again landlords and their agents reap the financial rewards of these multi-occupancy premises and do little in return to maintain the integrity of the neighbourhood.
“I have asked the council to remove all the offending material and hopefully officers will open some of the bags to identify those responsible for the mess.
“I look forward to the executive member (Cllr Bryant) instigating prosecution measures.”
The council has previously said it is winning the war against people who litter the streets saw the amount of waste dumped illegally drop from two tonnes to one-and-a-half in the first fortnight of its awareness campaign.
However, the authority’s waste manager Colin Russell has also admitted financial penalties could be introduced for repeat offenders.
He said: “We are going to carry on splitting open the bags and gathering evidence. If we are getting reports of repeat offenders we will consider fining people.
“We really don’t want to have to fine people. We want people to improve the area themselves.
“This is all about instilling pride in the town.”