A London council handed out so many fines over the weekend enforcement officers ran out of paper on which to print them.
People littering and urinating in London Fields led to 72 penalties each worth £150 being issued. This was despite Hackney Council putting 84 large commercial-sized bins around the borough and lengthening public toilet opening hours to 12-9pm every day.
Voicing his frustration on Twitter, the east London borough’s Mayor Philip Glanville said: ‘Every adult that visited one of our parks this weekend, got drunk (or not), made a choice to leave behind rubbish, piss against a tree or worse, they’re morally culpable and should reflect on what they did. [The] council issued so many fines at one point we ran out of paper. It must stop.’
London Fields park keeper Graham Hodgkins said: ‘I’m proud to be one of the team keeping our parks looking at their best, but we really need everyone’s help this summer to keep them looking beautiful and clean.’
Cabinet member for energy and waste Councillor Jon Burke added: ‘Parks are a vital resource for all in the borough, and especially for those without access to private or communal green spaces. However, the amount of litter and antisocial behaviour witnessed in our parks over the last week is completely unacceptable .
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‘Not only are people putting themselves and others at risk from coronavirus – they’re placing an even bigger strain on the Council’s resources when our annual Government grant has been cut by £140m since 2010.’
Last summer the council spent nearly £100,000 collecting rubbish from parks and open spaces in addition to £80,000 on additional bins.
Across the country concerns over social distancing have been raised as people head to parks and beaches to drink in the sun.
The owner of Durdle Door beach in Dorset said the easing of lockdown restrictions has ‘undoubtedly led to the unacceptable influx of visitors’.
Government guidelines say that pubs, restaurants and cafes won’t open until July 4 ‘at the earliest’, but many places have taken advantage of a loophole by serving takeaway drinks for people to enjoy al fresco.
However a secret plan drawn up by Department for Business ministers suggests boozers could open by the end of the month, with breweries planning on delivering millions of pints in the next two weeks.
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