LAMBETH TARGETS SPITTING / COUNCIL CLAMPDOWN ON EMPTY PROPERTIES TO HELP THOSE NEEDING HOMES
LAMBETH TARGETS SPITTING
Lambeth council officers are on the lookout for spitters as they begin to clamp down on the unacceptable behaviour.
Lambeth say they have been “vindicated” in their first prosecution of a man found spitting in the street after he was fined £120 by the courts – and now officers will be quick to issue fixed penalty
notices to those seen spitting in public.
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “Most people find spitting extremely unpleasant – both as an act and the mess it leaves on our streets.
“Offenders need to know that if our enforcement officers see anybody spitting in public, they will be facing a big fine.
“We’re determined to stamp out this behaviour, carried out by a minority of people, which the rest of us find disgusting.”
In October last year Lambeth council issued a fixed penalty notice for spitting under current anti-littering legislation and the move was upheld by a judge last week, who ordered the offender to pay £120.
Last year, Lambeth council issued almost a thousand fixed penalty notices, with more than half given for littering. Other offences tackled by the council included illegal street trading, breaches of regulations for skips, obstructing the highway and urinating on the street. (Source: Lambeth council press release.)
COUNCIL CLAMPDOWN ON EMPTY PROPERTIES TO HELP THOSE NEEDING HOMES
Hundreds of Croydon residents are set to get help into a home through the council’s new drive to refurbish empty properties.
Croydon council want to bring at least 662 privately-owned empty homes across the borough back into use by getting owners to do them up.
“The council is keen to work with landlords and owners, who will be offered grants or loans to help refurbish the properties” said a council spokesman. “Those who refuse face enforcement action.
“With around 5,000 people on the borough’s housing waiting list, which does not include those in emergency accommodation, the initiative aims to tackle both a shortage of privately-rented family properties and the environmental impact of empty homes.
“Abandoned properties can attract piles of fly-tipped waste, vermin and break-ins, and have a detrimental effect on those living close by. “The initiative is designed to fit with the council’s Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride environmental campaign.”
Cllr Alison Butler, Croydon’scabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “It’s an utter waste that hundreds of perfectly good properties in our borough lie empty, so we’re taking action to give more local families a home.
“Empty houses are often rundown and blight neighbourhoods, so this drive underlines Croydon’s commitment to making the borough cleaner and greener.”
The council spokesman added: “Landlords and owners who qualify for a grant must refurbish the empty property so it can be let to families on the borough’s housing waiting list. Loans must be paid back within two years.
“There are many reasons why a property could remain empty and the council will work with owners to address these issues. “But if an owner refuses to co-operate, the council has the power to buy the empty property without their permission and then find a suitable buyer who must make it available for housing within an agreed timescale.
“We estimate the number of empty flats or houses could be higher than the official 662, and we are encouraging residents to report empty properties via the My Croydon app, which is quick and free to download from the Google Play store for Android smartphones or Apple iTunes store for iPhones.
“People can also report empty homes online at www.croydon.gov.uk or on the dedicated hotline: 020 8760 5470.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)