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Council partnership aims to crackdown on litter

18 March 2022 : Council news, Community, Environment

A new Council partnership that aims to crack down on littering in Somerset West and Taunton will commence from 1 April 2022.

Litter Enforcement Officers will be patrolling the district to reduce littering as part of a trial scheme adopted by SWT’s Executive Councillors in January.

Anyone caught breaking the law by dropping litter will receive an on-the-spot fine of £100. Culprits that fail to pay and are summonsed to court could face a maximum littering penalty of £2,500.

Councillors at Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council have pledged to crack down on litter in response to an increase in incidents and concern from local residents.

Executive Member for Environmental Services, Cllr Andy Sully, said: “As councillors, we regularly receive emails and phone calls from residents who are fed up with littering.

"We’re very aware that many people want to see tougher action against those who deliberately blight our towns and countryside and to this end, we’re teaming up with East Hampshire District Council to trial a new enforcement scheme to stop littering at source”.

“Both Southampton City Council and Salisbury City Council have already introduced similar schemes with great success, and we hope that this will send a strong message to the small minority of people who continue to ruin our local environments.”

The new enforcement scheme will be carried out in partnership with East Hampshire District Council’s ethical enforcement company, EH Commercial Services (EHCS), which has an established track record for positively impacting local authority areas across the South of England.

Cllr Andy Sully added: “I must stress that this is not a money-making exercise and any fines issued will directly fund the service.

"We spend more than £1 million a year on cleaning the district including on litter removal but if people didn’t drop or dump rubbish, we could reallocate a proportion of this money to supporting other essential services.

“We’re also looking to engage with the public to develop a strong anti-litter culture, as well as empowering communities and businesses to take positive action so that it becomes completely unacceptable to drop or dump litter of any kind.

"By working together, we can all make a difference to ensure our district remains beautiful for everyone who lives and visits here,”

The enforcement scheme supports the Council’s recently published Litter Strategy, which aims to reduce litter more widely through public education to encourage positive change, and a recent roll-out of frequently serviced and strategically sited bins to facilitate ease of disposal.