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Chewing gum clean-up

A clean-up team was busy in Boston town centre before most folk were out of their beds on Thursday.

They were making haste cleaning chewing gum off pavements before the town got too busy with people arriving for work or going shopping.

Cllr Paul Skinner, Boston Borough Council's Cabinet member with responsibility for the town centre, and Teresa Key, who has responsibility for town centre maintenance, were using a specialist machine to steam away thousands of sticky gum marks.

It is a littering offence to spit gum out, punishable by a £75 fine. Chewing gum is among the worst kind of litter. One piece, trodden in, can spread and spread and leave many sticky and unsightly marks on the ground which, unlike other types of litter, cannot be simply picked up.

Cllr Skinner said: "There are no excuses for littering of any sort. Spitting, urinating and defecating are all covered by the same littering legislation and those caught will face a £75 fine. The same goes for anyone depositing what we might call conventional litter.

"Spitting chewing gum or bubble gum out is particularly distasteful as it sticks to shoes and gets tramped everywhere. Look down the next time you are walking through town and see all the little white and grey blobs."

It was the second time Cllr Skinner and Teresa had been out on early-morning patrol cleaning up gum.

The other scourge of the footpaths and other areas where the public walk is dog mess. But from Wednesday, February 1, dog walkers will have to be able to prove they have equipped themselves with the ability to clean up after their pet, or face a £100 fine.

Dog poo bags are not expensive and are available from shops. Some people like to use scented nappy bags.

Although Boston Borough Council approved new fines under new Public Spaces Protection Order legislation in October, residents have been given until February 1 to get used to the new regime.

Fines for failing to clean up after a dog, allowing a dog into an enclosed children's play area or refusing to put a dangerous or nuisance dog on a lead are being doubled to £100 from February 1.

The new powers to control dogs are being introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 which allows councils to create a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

Public consultation showed that 90 per cent were in favour of it being an offence for dog walkers not to carry a bag or the means at all times to clean up after their dog. And 74 per cent agreed the fine should be £100.

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