THIS is the new team tasked with tackling litter louts on the streets of St Helens.

Up to now the environmental wardens have been out and about raising awareness about the new regime. They have been highlighting the potential cost in fines if people continue to litter.

But now they will start issuing fines to litter bugs.

The council recently demonstrated the scale of the litter issue by dumping a week’s worth in front of the town hall collected by street cleaners during a week. The pile reached almost 8ft high.

Last year it cost the council £1,759,713 to clean litter off the borough's streets.

These include cigarette stumps, food waste and packaging and bus and train tickets.

There are continuing efforts to address dog fouling which will shortly be stepped up.

Councillor Seve Gomez Aspron cabinet member for the environment said: “The amount of litter which was on display was an absolute disgrace. There really is no excuse. The cost to clean up the litter, comes out of your council tax, so even if you don’t drop litter, you still pick-up the bill of those who do. It’s your money being thrown away. We are proud of St. Helens and are committed to ensuring we all live in a healthy, safe and pleasant environment.”

Anyone caught throwing litter on to the floor could be hit with a £75 on the spot fine. Failure to pay could result in prosecution at Magistrates’ Court and a fine up to £1,000.