Bin bag fines a last resort

Sir – I have noted the article (WHT on April 15) entitled Early birds will catch – a fine! and the subsequent correspondence. I felt it was right to clarify a few points. Littering makes areas appear dirty, untidy and unpleasant. Early presentation of

Sir - I have noted the article (WHT on April 15) entitled 'Early birds will catch - a fine!' and the subsequent correspondence. I felt it was right to clarify a few points.

Littering makes areas appear dirty, untidy and unpleasant. Early presentation of refuse for collection is vulnerable to attack by animals and a subsequent source of litter.

Tackling environmental issues in Welwyn Hatfield is a council priority. Enforcement against offenders is being increased in 2009 to ensure our borough is cleaner, greener and a more pleasant environment for our residents and visitors. The penalties cover a range of environmental offences, of which littering is one.

Our team of client officers regularly visit and work with many individuals and businesses. Imposing a fine is the final stage for persistent offenders, who, following education and warnings continue to flout the rules. I would like to assure readers that the council does not 'wish to fine'. Where possible, we would rather not do so, especially in the present economic climate.


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In response to Mr Figg's letter - the team will even investigate who has been responsible for improper refuse storage! If early refuse presentation subsequently causes littering, then the contents will be investigated to ascertain who is responsible for the waste.

Finally, I would like to request that people report any flytipping or littering offences to us. If we are aware of them, then we can take further action against offenders, through education. No complaints from Joe Thomas have, to date, been logged with the council's contact centre about waste issues at Pond Croft.

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The council's aim is to provide an environment for residents, which is pleasant and safe. The imposition of a fine is the last resort to ensure that the few cannot spoil it for the many.

Bob Jewell, director (finance and operations), Welwyn Hatfield Council.

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