ENFORCEMENT officers from Chester City Council’s community safety wardens teamed up with police community support officers, fire officers and environmental health regulators to tackle environmental issues in the city centre.
A total of 19 fixed penalty notices were issued for littering, with each offender ordered to pay a £50 fine or risk prosecution. Most were smokers discarding their cigarette butts, many not realising that this constituted littering. Š
As well as fines, smokers were given ‘stubbis’ – small foil-lined pouches to dis pose of butts where bins are unavailable.
More than 80 businesses were visited about issues to do with storing waste and the amount of litter caused by customers. As well as creating an eyesore, unsecured waste in wheelie bins can be a target for arsonists, provide bedding material for rough sleepers and food for vermin.
Community fire protection manager for West Cheshire at Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, Steve Gibbins, said: “Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service has recently highlighted the impact of waste and small fires on the carbon footprint of the county and this initiative shows how agencies can work together to reduce that carbon footprint. Crews will now carry out spot checks in Chester City Centre focusing on vulnerable buildings to help reduce the risk of arson. Any waste management problems will be reported to our colleagues in environmental protection for action.”
Officers also spoke to bus drivers asking engines be turned off when stationary. Smokers in bus shelters and on the Rows were also reminded that these are no-smoking areas.
Environment portfolio holder for Chester City Council, Cllr Jill Houlbrook and Cllr Pat Lott, Chairman of the environment scrutiny committee accompanied officers during the patrols.
Cllr Houlbrook said: “The two day campaign focused on making Chester cleaner and safer for everyone.”