Fines issued in purge on litter

Ground staff working across Leighton will soon be able to issue fines for littering, as the town council ramps up a campaign to keep the streets clean.

As part of a new initiative nine ground workers employed by Leighton-Linslade Town Council will receive training from Central Beds Council, which will school them on how to issue fixed penalty notices to those who flout littering laws.

The measure has been made possible after the town council inherited powers from CBC to issue the fines, which came after a new dog control order came into force last month.

Across the UK last year approximately 400 people were prosecuted at magistrates’ courts for littering, an offence which carries a fine of up to £2,500.

Sarah MacKay, Leighton-Linslade grounds and environmental services officer, told the LBO that the new power for ground staff would act as a deterrant.

She said: “This is not about making money, we hope it will deter people from littering.

“As one of the larger parish councils we thought we had the capacity to handle this ourselves and we’ll be able to have more officers to deal with the problem now.”

With ground staff due to receive training from CBC in January, it is expected that by Spring they will be in a position to issue fixed penalty fines.

The scheme is part of a larger town council initiative to stem a rise in litter seen on the streets of Leighton.

To launch the campaign the council has organised a litter pick on Tuesday, November 25, which will include the appearance of two Wombles.

Starting at 10am from Parsons Close Recreation Ground, the pick will lead out to Grovebury Road and from there along the route of the old railway track to Mentmore Gardens.

The event has been organised with the support of Waitrose, Keep Britain Tidy and with help from Leighton-Linslade In-Bloomers, Woodcraft Group and Friends of Tiddenfoot.

Mayor Ray Berry said: “We would encourage all our residents to play their part in helping to keep our town a clean and pleasant place to live and work.”