People who spoke to the Guardian have backed a plan to fine people for spitting in the street.

On Tuesday leading councillors in Redbridge will consider whether to press ahead with a plan to enforce an existing byelaw to issue fixed penalty notices.

Pat Burrow, 81, of Blake Hall Road in Wanstead, said: “I do not like spitting so the proposed law is a really positive thing for the area.

“It is nasty, unhealthy and not very nice for children or pets playing in public areas.
“Some people just do not care about the mess they are making, so they should be held accountable for that.”

Laura Jeffrey, 33, of St Margaret’s Road in Aldersbrook, hopes any revenue gained from fines will be spent wisely.

She said: “I agree with the proposed law. There is no need to spit in the streets, so it is important that people are made to pay for it. The council can spend the money on doing something positive.”

Michael Brown, 68, of Cambridge Road, Wanstead, also welcomed the move.

He said: "This is a great idea. It is a terrible habit and I support any action to stop it.

“£500 is a bit steep but repeat offenders should be properly punished."

Jean Hogkins, 55, Clavering Road, Wanstead, also supports the policy, but is cautious over how it will work in practice.

She said: "It is is a good idea, but there may be issues in enforcing the law.

“Unless they are standing next to the person how would they know who has done it?"

Waltham Forest council last year classified spitting as litter in order to issue fines of up to £80, but Redbridge council lawyers concluded this was not a legally sound approach and have chosen to use a byelaw instead.

Cllr Ian Bond, deputy leader of the council, said he was sure the cabinet would back the proposal.

He said: “It is an unpleasant habit and this new law will hopefully make people think before they do it again.

“I’m sure the cabinet will back it and I fully support it providing it is implemented in a sensible way, not following people around the park to catch them out.”

Redbridge council’s cabinet will make a decision on whether to conduct a public consultation on the issue and the byelaw could be enforced as early as summer this year.