LITTER bugs could face higher fixed penalties following a recommendation to a meeting next week of Craven District Council.

Members of the decision making Policy Committee will be asked on Tuesday to agree to increasing fixed penalty notices for littering from the present £80 to £150. There will also be the option of a reduced payment of £100, if the offender pays within 14 days.

The recommendation comes just more than a month after local authorities were given leave in April to increase the level of fines.

If accepted by councillors, it will mean the level of fines given out to littering offenders, including those who drop cigarette butts, and drivers who drop rubbish out of cars, will range from between £50 and £150. Levels are set on circumstances including ability to pay and the council’s own enforcement costs.

In a report to the meeting, the council’s environmental health and cleaner neighbourhoods team leader, Catherine Thornton, says littering adversely effects the environment and recommends moving to the maximum fixed penalty fine allowed to discourage offending.

“It is unsightly, can be harmful to humans and animals and pollutes waterways. It is especially challenging and expensive for the council to manage and control littering in a large rural district.,” says the report.

The council served 25 fixed penalty notices between 2017 and 2018, totalling £2,000. If the fines are increased, the council is likely to see the total fines increase to between £2,500 and £3,750.

The Cleaner Neighbourhoods service in the year 2017/18 cost the council £132,324.