Private firm should issue litter fines say Sunderland’s Tories

Litter louts could be fined by a private firm if the idea by Sunderland City Council's Conservative members is backed.
Litter louts could be fined by a private firm if the idea by Sunderland City Council's Conservative members is backed.

City leaders should draft in a company to punish those who litter our streets.

That’s the belief of Conservative councillors, who will move a motion at Sunderland City Council’s next full meeting, calling on it to bring in a private firm to issue the cash penalties.

Conservative group leader Councillor Robert Oliver.

Conservative group leader Councillor Robert Oliver.

It comes as figures show 46 fines have been issued in the last year generating £10,325, compared with 2,950 in Newcastle, creating £639,000 of revenue which could go into environmental services.

Councillor Robert Oliver, leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Lots of residents are complaining about the amount of litter in the city so it’s about time Sunderland City Council took the same action that other councils-such as Newcastle are taking to clamp down on litter louts and clean up our city.

“There are plenty of litter bins and some streets in the city are being cleaned every day so there is no excuse for anyone to drop litter as it is giving a poor impression to visitors, especially with a decision on the bid for City of Culture due soon.

“Many residents and visitors raise concerns about litter throughout the city and object to their taxes being use to clear up other people’s litter instead of fining people who drop litter which should serve as a deterrent as long as there are enough of them.”

Is there absolutely nothing the Tories do not want to privatise?

Councillor Michael Mordey

He said other councils have already contracted firms and suggested Sunderland brings one in on a trial basis or as its own enforcement company.

In the year up to October, 21 Fixed Penalty Notices of £75 have been issued for littering and 25 Fixed Penalty Notices of £350 have been issued since January 2017.

Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for city services, said he did not support the proposal.

He said: “Is there absolutely nothing the Tories do not want to privatise?

Councillor Michael Mordey

Councillor Michael Mordey

“The council has already stepped up enforcement because a minority of people still think that they can go around and drop litter wherever they like.

“Because of cuts imposed on Sunderland by the Tory Government, the council simply does not have the resources now to clean up after the irresponsible few.

“The council has also successfully prosecuted fly-tippers in the last year and more prosecutions in the magistrates’ courts are pending.”

“Enforcement is a priority of mine and we have put in place a new policy and extra resources to tackle the problem.”

The meeting will be held on November 22 at 6pm.