Call goes out for Borders litter louts to face tougher fines

Council leader Shona Haslam at Scottish Borders Council's Newtown headquarters.
Council leader Shona Haslam at Scottish Borders Council's Newtown headquarters.

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam is calling for tougher action to tackle litter louts.

The Tweeddale East councillor is suggesting that the authority increase its fixed-penalty fines for littering from £80 to £100.

Mrs Haslam will put a motion calling for that 25% rise to a full meeting of the council being held tomorrow, January 31, at its Newtown headquarters.

As well asking the council to bump up the cost of its fixed penalty notices, her motion asks that it write to the Scottish Government and suggest increasing such charges nationwide.

Mrs Haslam motion, part of a wider campaign by the Scottish Conservatives, reads: “The council acknowledges the importance of discouraging people from dropping litter, supports increasing the fixed-penalty notice for littering from £80 to £100, agrees that a letter from the local authority will be sent to the Scottish Government making clear Scottish Borders Council’s support for increasing the default on-the-spot litter fine from £80 to £100 and to request that ministers implement this change as quickly as possible.”

She added: “Littering is an issue that comes up in communities time and time again. 

“We need a much stronger approach to this issue, and it is great that, as a Conservative-led council, we can start to take action on this locally.

“I hope that all the councillors can support this motion.”

West Scotland Conservative list MSP Maurice Golden, the party’s shadow environment secretary, said: “Litter is a blight on our landscape and our communities, and it is clear from recent research that the problem is actually getting worse.

“A small minority are spoiling Scotland’s streets, parks and countryside for the law-abiding majority.

“Increasing the default fine for littering is one way to make people stop and think before just throwing something away.

“This significant fine for littering is also a proportionate punishment for anyone who is caught.”