Council takes Chester litter bug to court

7 August 2017

A Chester litter bug has been ordered to pay fines totalling £465 after being prosecuted for littering by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Richard Lewis, 41, of Western Avenue, Blacon, was found guilty of littering at a bus stand in Princess Street, Chester.

Lewis, a bus driver, was recorded littering by the city’s CCTV unit who despatched officers from the Council’s Regulatory Services to deal with the incident. He was issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN), which he did not pay and was therefore prosecuted for a littering offence under the Environmental Protection Act.

The initial penalty is £50 if paid within seven days, after which it rises to £75 and must be paid within 14 days.

On Thursday, 3 August, Chester Magistrates Court imposed fines and costs of £465, a considerably larger amount than the initial FPN.  Lewis received a fine of £75 for the littering offence, and was ordered to pay costs of £360 and a victim surcharge of £30.

In passing sentence District Judge Jones remarked that it would have been far cheaper for Lewis to have paid the FPN.

As well as the environmental impact of making our streets look dirty and untidy, it costs the Council almost £600,000 a year to clear litter in the Northwich, Ellesmere Port and Chester areas.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Most people are considerate towards the environment and take their rubbish home with them, but those who don’t and drop litter in our borough, can expect a similar expensive punishment if they don’t pay the fixed penalty notice.  Our Street Care Pledge sets out our commitment to maintain clean and tidy streets across the borough.”

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