LETTER: Education not fines for litter

In the court round-up in your paper of April 19, I note that every single one of the 22 people named was fined £220 ‘after being found guilty of dropping a cigarette butt (sic) and leaving it on the ground’.

I am as angered as the next person about litter, this anger being channelled into organising an annual litter-pick in our village.

The protection of our environment must be one the main concerns of today’s society, but I feel we are in danger of reverting to the situation which existed some 30 to 40 years ago.

Returning to the UK after a period of some years living in a continental European country which had already woken up to the reality of contemporary environmental issues, I was quite shocked to find that litter was still virtually top of the agenda here in the UK.

Thankfully, the situation appears to have improved since then. Don’t get me wrong, I hate litter and the uncaring, small-minded attitude of those who create it, but, though it is visual and clearly something that can be addressed and seen to be addressed, it should never distract from the more serious environmental issues with which we are confronted.

Finally, as far as litter is concerned, education is most probably where it’s at, rather than stiffer fines.

Richard Hitchcock, Chairman of Westbourne, Parish Council, Oakmeadow Close, Emsworth