People who drop litter in a Northamptonshire town centre will be targeted during patrols ahead of a clean-up day later this month.
Officers from Daventry District Council’s (DDC) Environmental Improvement Team will be going out and about in the town – including on weekends and evenings - in the run-up to the event on October 23.
Anyone spotted littering during this period will be given an informal warning. But the team said the patrols will continue, and warned anyone caught dropping litter after the clean-up day will be hit with a fixed penalty notice and a £75 fine.
Councillor Daniel Cribbin, environment Portfolio Holder at Daventry District Council, said: “As well as being unsightly, the dropping of litter can cause health hazards and is a criminal offence. It can cause a real blight in our communities and we are working hard as a Council to tackle it.
“These patrols will target the sorts of times when we know a lot of littering occurs, such as weekends and Saturday nights in particular. Informal warnings will be given out at first but anyone caught littering in Daventry town centre after October 23 will receive a fine.
“We do not want the good work of our partners and hard-working volunteers to be undone by a minority of irresponsible people with no regard for the community.”
DDC and its contractor Enterprise Managed Services is teaming up with McDonald’s, Daventry Town Council and town centre businesses including Tesco for the clean-up day on Thursday, October 23.
Litter and rubbish will be removed, weeds will be cleared, selected overgrown flower beds will be tidied and footpaths will be scrubbed during the day.
Town centre businesses are being asked to support the effort by providing volunteers, lending equipment and either cleaning private land behind their premises or allowing volunteers access.
McDonald’s will be providing up to 50 volunteers but members of the public are also urged to help out by joining at any time during the day and giving up as much or as little time as they feel they are able to.
The Town Council has provided its offices in 3 New Street, Daventry as a base of operations and anyone who can help the clean-up is asked to report there on the day. Litter picking equipment including brushes will be available and there will be support from DDC and its partners.
The event is also a final opportunity for children aged three to 12 to submit entries to an art competition sponsored by Evergreen Art Café with a host of great prizes including workshops with a professional artist on offer.
Pictures on the theme of ‘Don’t be a Litter Bug’ can be dropped off at the Town Council offices from 10am on the day ahead of judging by professional artist Peter Smith later in the month.
The clean-up day is part of DDC’s Clean Up My Community campaign and McDonald’s nationwide ‘Love Where You Live’ initiative and follows on from the success of a community litter pick on the Southbrook estate in July.