‘HYPOCRITICAL’ Bromley Council could find itself with a fine for littering after recruiting a private company to crack down on the issue in Bromley High Street.
Working in pairs or sometimes standing in a group of three, the XFor environmental officers are usually stationed in the High Street handing out fines to people who drop litter or cigarette butts.
Instead of giving people a warning and the opportunity to pick their litter up they give them a fixed penalty notice of £80, with the private company taking £45 of this.
But while the council is working to reduce littering in the town centre Graham Shepherd says it is doing nothing to stop people from dropping rubbish elsewhere.
He says litter regularly gets thrown over his fence into his garden and says flytipping is also rife near his home in May Avenue, St Mary Cray.
Mr Shepherd, 53, said: “Should I put a bill in to Bromley Council for picking up their mess?
“On three occasions we have said to Bromley Council can you not put a bin on the corner of Stanley Way?
“By May Avenue there is a bag of rubbish which has been there for two weeks and there is also a bag of dog mess.
His wife Lisbeth, 51, paid out £80 after being seen by XFor workers dropping a cigarette end near The Glades last week.
He added: “She did litter but it is the double standards which annoys me.
“It’s hypocritical for them to fine my wife and not do anything about the litter in other areas of the borough.
“In Bromley town centre you cannot drop a fag butt but in Marion Crescent you can fly tip.”
Executive councillor for the environment Colin Smith said: “We are absolutely determined to continue improving the quality of street cleanliness in our borough and discourage littering which contributes towards the cost of £4 million a year for Bromley council taxpayers.
“The trial has not simply focussed on Bromley High Street but has also targeted other shopping areas in all parts of the borough.
“We are hopeful that in time, the enforcement will cover other areas too, including residential streets where we are particularly keen to focus on irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their animals.
“I would encourage residents to report all fly tips, however small, to enable us to take prompt action.
“Where there are no litter bins, people should take their rubbish home with them.
“It is not council policy to install litter bins in all residential side-streets, only those with relatively high footfall.
“We did look at the location as requested and concluded that as Mr Shepherd lives in a residential area and not by a bus stop, school or outside shops, there was no need for a bin.”
“However, in light of these latest comments, we will keep this area under review.”
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