Sheffield’s town hall chiefs say tough new powers to crack down on littering must come with extra funding to catch offenders.
Litter louts will be fined up to £150 – twice the current maximum – under plans announced by the Government this week to clean up Britain’s streets.
Higher fines are among a raft of measures being rolled out to tackle the scourge of littering, which costs taxpayers in Sheffield an estimated £5 million a year to clean up.
Car owners will now be fined if rubbish is thrown from their vehicles, even if they were not the ones throwing it – as is already the case in London - and efforts will be stepped up to teach schoolchildren to clean up after themselves.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “We welcome this stance from the Government on cracking down further on littering.
“To extend the offence of littering from cars to outside London, for example, is something we in Sheffield have been requesting for some time.
“We also welcome the prospect of having the powers to issue increased fines.
“However, we also need the resources to carry out extra enforcement. In a time of austerity, increasing the number of our officers on the streets to catch people littering just isn’t something we are able to do without more money to pay for additional staff time.”
Coun Lodge added that steps were already being taken to improve the design, number and location of bins within the city – one of the key aims under the Government’s new litter strategy.
And he said the council was working with schools and had teamed up with Keep Britain Tidy, too, to run the regular Clean Sheffield campaign.
Coun Lodge said the council would continue to clamp down on the ‘small minority’ who persist in dropping rubbish, having issued 789 fines for littering over the last year and taken 194 offenders to court.
“Everyone should do their bit to improve our environment and we will not tolerate those who spoil it. We are glad that central government are of the same opinion,” he added.