ENVIRONMENTAL wardens with the power to fine litterbugs on the spot will start patrolling the borough later this month.

The wardens are being introduced as part of a drive by St Helens Council to bring tougher sanctions on those leaving litter and dog fouling.

The size of the fines is not yet determined but it is believed they could amount to £60.

As the Star reported last week, a staggering £1.8million was spent by the council last year on clearing up dropped litter in the borough. The Star's mailbag and email accounts have also been bulging with readers complaints over the amount of litter being dropped in the town centre and at beauty spots across the borough.

The town centre remains a hot topic of debate and a common concern is that street rubbish that builds throughout the day leaves it appearing dirty by the evening.

As well as dog dirt, common types of litter found in the town include cigarette stumps, food waste and packaging as well as bus and train ticket stubs.

To demonstrate the issue, the council’s environmental protection service created a dramatic display showing the impact litterbugs have on the town.

A single weekend’s worth of litter collected by street cleaners from the town centre was put on view outside the town hall, with the rubbish reaching almost eight feet in height.

Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, cabinet member for environment and neighbourhoods, told the Star.“The wardens are due to start going out in the third week of August.

“They will go out borough-wide and tackling dog fouling and litter. One of the main complaints from the public is dog fouling so it is important that this is tackled and in the demonstration around the town hall the amount of litter which was on display was an absolute disgrace.

“The wardens will be able to issue on-the-spot fines and it will give us a bigger team. The number of wardens isn’t confirmed yet but they will be able to go out in teams of four and it is aimed at mainly parks and local shopping centres.

“Other boroughs have shown this has reduced litter rapidly and it is to make sure that those who don’t drop litter are not paying for everybody else.”

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