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Littering could hit Highland tourism, says council leader

By SPP Reporter

The council is getting tough on littering and fly-tipping.
The council is getting tough on littering and fly-tipping.

LITTER droppers can expect tougher penalties under a new zero tolerance approach adopted by the Highland Council.

A number of new anti-littering measures received cross party support from members at a meeting of the council’s Transport, Environmental and Community (TEC) Services committee.

Among the measures were extending the powers of Community Wardens to issue fines.

Other initiatives include:

• A zero tolerance on littering will be carried out with a degree of discretion;

• Additional staff will be authorised to enforce the law relating to litter and fly-tipping;

• Waste Management and Environmental Health staff carry out joint enforcement days;

• The preparation and publication of a calendar of enforcement days on the council’s website www.highland.gov.uk; and

• The council encourages and supports local communities to organise events aimed at keeping their communities free of litter and improving the overall environment.

Councillor Graham Phillips, chairman of the TEC Services committee, said: "We must recognise the excellent works that our TEC Services do in trying to keep our communities clean and tidy. Many staff are out very early each morning clearing up before we leave our homes. We all need to take a zero tolerance approach to littering across all ages and refuse to accept it. We need to get clean-up opportunities embedded into our communities so that we all play a part. A change of mind-set is needed by everyone to adopt a zero tolerance approach."

Leader of the council, Councillor Drew Hendry, added: "As a council we have to tackle littering head on and treat it as anti-social behaviour. Littering is wrong, it should not be tolerated and it should not happen. Littering also has an impact on our tourism economy – one of the key industries in the Highlands. We market our natural environment as a key attraction for visitors and littering has a direct impression on visitors that can affect the potential for repeat visits through word of mouth recommendations."

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