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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 05:39 GMT 06:39 UK
75 cigarette butt fine defended
Jeanine Wycherley
Jeanine Wycherley claims spot fines are just "money spinners"
A council has defended fining a woman 75 for allegedly dropping a cigarette butt - as more authorities in Wales prepare to follow suit.

Neath Port Talbot Council wrote to Jeannine Wycherley, claiming she threw the litter from her car.

It said keeping the streets clean cost ratepayers 2.5m a year and litter was a major concern for people.

Swansea will also introduce spot fines next month. Carmarthenshire issued its first cigarette butt penalty in 2004.

Mrs Wycherley received a letter after allegedly dropping the butt in a supermarket car park.

"The world has gone crackers," she said.

"Where are these heroes when it comes to a Friday night and the place is littered with chip paper, vomit and drink bottles?"

The council is committed to taking enforcement action
Mike Roberts, NPT Council

She said no-one spoke to her at the scene but she received an "intimidating letter" two days later.

"They said it would be my word against the enforcement officer - I did not have a leg to stand on."

Mike Roberts, head of the council's street care team, defended the fine.

He said: "A significant minority of people continue to drop litter and the council is committed to taking enforcement action."

The situation in Wales varies from county to county.

Neighbouring Swansea is currently training its own litter teams and they are due to start work in the city centre next month.

Carmarthenshire claimed to be the first council in Wales to issue such a fine when call centre worker Andrew Stevenson was fined 75 for dropping a cigarette butt outside his office.

A spokeswoman for Carmarthenshire said in the first instance people caught throwing litter would be spoken to and asked to pick it up and only if they refused would they then be fined.

Woman fined for throwing Wotsit
03 May 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Smoker fuming at 75 litter fine
22 Jul 04 |  South West Wales

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