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Solihull councillor says court could shock litterbugs into changing their ways

A borough councillor has said the “sharp shock” of being taken to court may make people think twice about littering

A borough councillor has said the “sharp shock” of being taken to court may make people think twice about littering.

Councillor Linda Brown (Ind, Blythe) was speaking after a 23-year-old from Fordbridge was hauled before magistrates after dropping a drinks carton.

After failing to pay a £75 fine, John Sparrow, of Crabtree Drive, was brought to court, ordered to pay the penalty in full, £160 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Coun Brown, who has organised litter picks in the likes of Monkspath and Cheswick Green, said the waste left strewn on the pavement and verges was “disgusting”.

“I think it’s a lack of discipline,” she told the Solihull News. “People just don’t seem to care anymore about keeping things looking nice. I think it’s partly laziness, but also people who aren’t taught right from wrong, we had it drilled into us not to drop litter at school.

“But it’s a problem at the top and bottom. You can’t imagine David Cameron getting stuck in and sweeping up.

“Sometimes the people who complain need to get off their backsides and do something about it.”

Coun Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood) said littering was a problem, but he was uncomfortable with the size of the fine in the recent case.

“There are other ways to tackle the problem other than a big stick, like trying to find out why there is an issue in the first place.

“I think the trouble in this country is that sometimes people aren’t encouraged to have respect for their communities.

“Even in Solihull, there are places which have a bad reputation and are the butt of jokes, which doesn’t make people feel good about their area.”

A Solihull Council spokesman said that this month’s case was the first occasion they’d taken someone to court for a littering offence.

 

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