School pupils face £80 fines for littering

High school pupils in East Ayrshire will face an £80 fine if they are caught dropping litter, with the penalty being withdrawn if the child attends a supervised litter pick.

The scheme was approved by councillors following a recent trial at Loudoun Academy in Galston.

The campaign has been spearheaded by Rubbish Party councillor Sally Cogley, who has hailed it as a UK first.

Ms Cogley said: “East Ayrshire will be doing something that has never been done in the UK before. It has changed behaviour at Loudoun Academy.

“The litter in schools initiative is a no-brainer and will make a difference. We have tried and tested it.”

Elected in May 2017, two months after she founded the Rubbish Party to focus on the issues of waste and littering, Ms Cogley insisted that the scheme would not criminalise children after concerns were raised at a council meeting.

Council leader Douglas Reid said: “It is about improving the quality of our environment. We need to get behind this.”

She proposed a motion for four politicians to set up a cross-party and ward group to tackle the problems of dog fouling, litter and fly tipping. They will be responsible for overseeing the roll-out of the fixed penalty litter scheme in all secondary schools in the region.

The politicians who are to sit on the anti-litter group alongside Councillor Cogley are Annick councillor Ellen Freel, Kilmarnock North councillor Ian Grant and Kilmarnock East and Hurlford councillor Barry Douglas.

The motion said the aim of the cross-party group was to ensure “East Ayrshire Council continues to maximise the benefits of a cleaner and safer environment,” making it a “more attractive place to live, learn, work and visit.”

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