THE cost of dropping litter in Mid Devon could be about to fall.

People caught littering are currently charged £150, but unlike parking fines, there is no opportunity to pay a lower amount for the issue to be disposed of.

Now Mid Devon District Council is considering offering 50 per cent off to litter bugs who pay up within 14 days.

Councillor Josh Wright (Liberal Democrat, Silverton), who has prepared a report for the cabinet meeting being held on Tuesday, March 5, said a discount would “remove any socio-economic issues which could currently occur".

He added: “It could be seen that those of lesser financial standing or means, may be forced under the current policy into being prosecuted by a court of law due to their inability to (pay) the current cost of the FPN (Fixed Penalty Notice),” the report said.

“Inclusion of a 50 per cent discounted rate for a period of 14 days enables the authority to show proportionate measures in respect of littering.”

The report adds that discounted period had “shown to increase the percentage of payments against such fines”.

“This can be seen within Mid Devon via the penalty charge notices issued within car parks,” the report said.

“With a larger percentage of payments being made, there are fewer financial implications on the authority as the cost and time implications of preparing court documents, court fees, and legal costs in bringing a prosecution can be reduced significantly,” it added.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recommends a discounted period for litter fines.

Bradley Gerrard

Local Democracy Reporting Service