Council hits back at criticism by MP over alcohol related littering in Fenland towns

Official opening of Neale-Wade Academy. Steve Barclay MP.

Official opening of Neale-Wade Academy. Steve Barclay MP. - Credit: Archant

MP STEVE Barclay accused Fenland Council of doing too little to crack down on alcohol related littering which he claims is blighting many towns.

He was disappointed the council “has not yet made use of specific enforcement powers enabling it to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecute those found alcohol littering.

“I find it very surprising that FDC has not prosecuted anyone for alcohol littering or given a fixed penalty ticket for this specific offence.

But the council has hit back pointing out that PCSOs also have the power to issue fixed penalties.

A council spokesman said: “Over the past five months, in the course of 480 hours of enforcement patrols, 13 fixed penalty tickets have been issued to people observed dropping litter and leaving it.”

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The MP said he raised concerns in response to images released by Cambridgeshire police patrols showing the extent of the issue of alleyways, parks and pathways strewn with beer cans, bottles and human waste.

“I am calling on Fenland District Council to assist police efforts to clear up affected areas by taking action to prosecute those caught littering and engaging in antisocial behaviour on council CCTV systems,” he said.

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“I recognize the results achieved by the council’s rapid response team in clearing up mess and their record on enforcement on general waste.

“However the council’s continued reluctance to make use of enforcement orders and prosecute offenders captured on their own CCTV Cameras needs to change, especially when the problems of alcohol littering, mess and nuisance street drinking are becoming an acute problem for residents in Wisbech.

Mr Barclay said patrols do not work on Friday and Saturday evenings when the problem is at its worst.

He said he wanted Fenland’s chief executive Paul Medd “to demonstrate that officers understand how serious the problem is and commit to prosecuting anyone caught in alcohol related littering behaviour.”

The council, however, insisted they were aware of the problems and recent efforts have included patrols in many areas of Wisbech including parks and recreation grounds.

The patrols had proved effective “and in those areas alcohol-related litter has gone down by 63 per cent.”

The spokesman said the council had provided powers to help politic and as well as the new cumulative impact policy on licensing they had worked with the National Trust to tackle the issues caused by rough sleepers in Harecroft Road.

“The problem needs to be seen in its proper context,” said the spokesman. “The fact is that alcohol-related litter makes up only a small part of the more than four tonnes of litter that is cleaned up in Fenland each day.”

CCTV too played a part “and the police know that they can call on it, as they do regularly.”

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