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School pupils to be fined £80 for throwing rubbish

The scheme will affect youngsters at all East Ayrshire schools in a bid to keep the area clean.

Rubbish: Pupils will face a fine if they throw litter.
Rubbish: Pupils will face a fine if they throw litter. epSos.de on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/

Pupils at high schools in East Ayrshire will face a £80 fine if they are caught throwing rubbish.

A UK first, the scheme was approved by councillors on Thursday following a recent trial run at Loudon Academy in Galston.

The initiative has been spearheaded at the school by Rubbish Party councillor Sally Cogley.

She said: "East Ayrshire will be doing something that has never been done in the UK before. It has changed behaviour at Loudoun Academy.

"The litter in schools initiative is a no-brainer and will make a difference. We have tried and tested it."

Penalties given to children for dropping rubbish would be withdrawn if the pupil attends a supervised litter pick.

Councillor Cogley proposed a motion at the full council meeting for four politicians to set up a cross party and ward group to tackle the problems of dog fouling, litter and fly tipping, which was agreed by councillors.

They will be responsible for overseeing the roll-out of the fixed penalty litter scheme in all secondaries.

'The aim is not to criminalise young people.'
Councillor Sally Cogley

Councillor Cogley said: "The focus and approach will be on education and prevention coupled with effective enforcement."

The meeting heard concerns about children being criminalised and the outcome if parents couldn't pay the £80 fine.

"The aim is not to criminalise young people," Councillor Cogley insisted.

She pointed out how the fixed penalty notice would get cancelled if a child goes to a litter pick.

Councillor Cogley explained that if the pupil doesn't attend one, then the school would take other actions.

However, councillor Jacqui Todd said she is worried kids could be excluded if they don't comply.

Irvine Valley Councillor Cogley will join Annick Councillor Ellen Freel, Kilmarnock North Councillor Ian Grant and Kilmarnock East and Hurlford Councillor Barry Douglas on the anti-litter group.

Council leader Douglas Reid said: "It is about improving the quality of our environment. We need to get behind this."

The motion said the aim of the cross-party group is to ensure "East Ayrshire Council continues to maximise the benefits of a cleaner and safer environment," making it a "more attractive place to live learn work and visit."

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