Help make North Devon litter free as heavier fines for littering are introduced
Posted on: 23 March 2018
North Devon Council is calling for help to make North Devon litter free and warning litter louts that heavier fines for littering are on the way next month.
With the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastlines campaign gaining momentum in North Devon, the council would like to build on the public’s enthusiasm and make the district a ‘litter free’ zone too.
From 1 April 2018, the fine for dropping litter will almost double, increasing from £80 to £150. The changes to fines for littering follow a public consultation by the government, as part of the launch of England’s first Litter Strategy. Under the new measures, vehicle owners could also receive a penalty charge notice when it can be proved that litter was thrown from their car, even if it was discarded by a passenger.
As part of its Clear Messages campaign, the council’s Environmental Protection team wants to highlight the negative impact litter has on our environment and the responsibility we all have in keeping North Devon clean. This includes challenging and reporting those we see littering; acting as a positive role model to our children, friends and relatives; reducing the amount we throw away and playing a part in clearing up and keeping our public spaces free from litter.
According to the Highways Agency over 700,000 bags of rubbish are removed from England’s roads each year, with Defra estimating that £667 million is spent each year cleaning up litter on our streets. Here in North Devon, the council is part way through its annual litter pick of the Link Road, which last year saw more than 1,200 bags of rubbish collected from a 34 mile stretch of the road over a six week period.
Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “Litter on beaches is big news at the moment and it’s clear that attitudes towards litter are changing. Initiatives like the ‘2 Minute Beach Clean’ and ‘Plastic Free North Devon’ are inspiring people to make positive steps to prevent and control the damaging effects of litter on our environment. We also have some really active, established litter picking groups in local communities around the district and if there isn’t one in your area, perhaps you could start one? Or maybe you could take a bag with you on your dog walks and pick up litter along the way? Every little helps, we all have a part to play in keeping North Devon clean.”
North Devon Council Neighbourhood Officer Alan Kyle, says: “North Devon Council will be taking a robust response in line with these new guidelines. Keepers of vehicles also need to understand that officers will be able to issue fixed penalty notices through the post for each littering offence, especially when travelling on our roads.”
The council is keen to support any clean-up events that town and parish councils, community groups and organisations may wish to run. Litter-picking equipment, high visibility clothing and refuse bags can be supplied and rubbish collected from events by prior arrangement. Contact the council on 01271 374776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Report littering or fly-tipping on the council’s website www.northdevon.gov.uk/litter. Share stories and images of your efforts to combat litter in your community on the council’s Facebook page or on Twitter (@ndevoncouncil) #clearmessages #dontmessabout #stopmessingaround.Posted in: Community | Environment