Erewash Borough Council have hit back at claims that wardens are ‘obsessed’ with handing out fines for the dumping of cigarette ends — claiming that if just one per cent of litterbugs were caught it would be worth £11 million to the authority.
Cllr Frank Phillips told the Advertiser residents have contacted him and complained about wardens, claiming they followed them around the town centre while they smoked and issued fines won occasions hile not in uniform.
He said: “People have come to me and said they feel uncomfortable smoking in the town centre because wardens watch their every move.
“Fair enough if they drop their cigarette ends, but it seems that some wardens are so obsessed with dishing out fines they will do whatever it takes to catch people.
“There are more pressing issues.”
But Cllr Barbara Harrison rejected his claims saying residents want to see clean streets and picking up cigarette ends is a big and expensive job.
She explained: “There is no excuse for smokers to throw their cigarette ends on the floor – no cigarette butt is dropped accidentally, all are the result of a deliberate act. It is estimated that approximately nine tonnes of cigarette litter - 15 million cigarette ends - is collected across the borough each year which equates to a substantial cost to the council and the taxpayer.
Cigarette bins have been put in the town centre.