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Litter louts: "Pay up or face tougher fines"
A COUNCILLOR has warned litter louts who snubbed their fines to pay up now or face hefty charges when it goes to court.
Six people caught dropping litter or cigarette butts in the borough, who failed to cough up fixed-penalty fines, were each ordered to pay more than £400 at Basildon Magistrates Court.
The litter bugs could have got away with just a £50 fine of they had paid on time, but the council pursued them in court for non payment.
They were each handed £200 fines, plus a £15 victim surcharge and costs ranging from £189 to £252.
John Dornan, council cabinet member for environment, said: “People have got to realise that if they still owe fines they should come forward because the court is supporting our action and people are ending up paying around £450.”
One case was withdrawn, while another was adjourned so a Bulgarian interpreter could attend.
A council spokesman said: “There are still 100 people that we are taking to court. By paying now they could avoid similar fines and award of costs.”
The fines were originally dished out by private litter warden firm Xfor, which used staff including ex soldiers to patrol the borough’s streets.
Xfor was hired by the council as a year’s pilot scheme last April, but the contract was axed early in January as it was supposed to come at no cost to the authority which ended out forking out cash due to so many fines going unpaid.
Between April and July last year the service cost taxpayers £17,450.
Mr Dornan added: “Just because we have cancelled the trial, does not mean we are not going to chase people for the outstanding fines. These court results show we mean business and you will have to pay up.”