East Belfast Alliance Councillor, Naomi Long, has welcomed proposals by the Department of Environment to raise the levels of fines for littering and dog fouling from £25 to £50. The proposals are currently out for public consultation. However, Cllr Long called for the money to be returned to councils and targeted at enforcement, rather than absorbed into the DoE budget. The Government has developed legislation for England and Wales which redirects money from fines to councils.
Cllr Long said: “The current level of fines are not sufficient to act as a deterrent to people who allow their dogs to foul the pavements and drop their litter. I would therefore welcome proposals to increase the fines to better reflect the nuisance which litter and dog fouling causes and the cost to Councils of cleaning up the mess. Currently, in Belfast we spend £10 million each year picking up litter in the city – costs which are carried by the ratepayers.”
“I also believe that the money raised from these fines should be reinvested in local Councils, so that we can employ more dog wardens and litter wardens with the revenue raised, and improve enforcement as our staff desperately need additional resources.
“People need to know that if they allow their dog to foul or toss their rubbish on the streets they are very likely to get caught and they will feel the fine where it hurts – in their pocket.”