Don't mess with Waltham Forest: Guardian backs council campaign (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Don't mess with Waltham Forest: Guardian backs council campaign
Litter louts, spitters and those who refuse to clear up after their dogs will be hit with hefty fines after the launch of a council campaign.
The Guardian is supporting the authority’s ‘Don’t Mess with Waltham Forest’ campaign to stamp out so-called enviro-crimes with on-the-spot £80 fines.
The council has trained police community support officers to issue the fixed penalty notices to all offenders found contravening the ban which, if they fail to pay, means they will face court action.
Clyde Loakes, cabinet member for the environment, said: “We’re making it clear to people that if you do these things we will catch you and hammer you.
“Residents want their streets looking nice and clean. People want to take pride in their areas, they see this as disgusting behaviour and they have an expectation that the council will crack down on it.
“We’re taking the bull by the horns.”
The fines have been extended to cover spitting and urinating, and will also be handed out to those caught littering and leaving dog mess in the street.
The authority also wants to tackle the mess found on pavements across the borough by agreeing pledges with local businesses to restore pride in the streets of Waltham Forest.
Cllr Loakes said: “Shop owners do want their area looking good – that’s what will get people visiting shops. They can contribute towards making town centres and shops more attractive places.
“That could make all the difference between someone coming homes to a nice, tidy town centre and doing some shopping or deciding to head straight home.”
Traders signing the pledge promise to keep the front of their business neat and tidy and to sweep it free of rubbish, while the council will put up posters around the borough to advertise the crackdown.
The authority will also sweep particularly messy areas in the coming months, and Cllr Loakes said young people are leading by example after visiting Kelmscott School in Markhouse Road, Walthamstow, whose pupils started an anti-spitting campaign.
He said: “It’s refreshing and reassuring. Our future residents and voters are taking great pride in their area.”
The Guardian is backing the campaign, which will run throughout the rest of the year.
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