Litter numbers reveal the scale of rubbish-dropping across Wakefield

The number of fines being issued for littering has dropped considerably.
The number of fines being issued for littering has dropped considerably.

The worst parts of the Wakefield district for litter dropping have been revealed.

Just over 150 fines for littering have been issued across the district since April 2015, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have shown.

Wakefield BID volunteers cleaning up the city centre earlier this year.

Wakefield BID volunteers cleaning up the city centre earlier this year.

The Wakefield North ward, which includes the city centre, was the area with highest number of offences, with two thirds (104) of all fixed penalty notices being issued here.

After that, Normanton was the worst offending area, with nine fixed penalty notices in the last four years.

Pontefract North, Wakefield West and Wakefield East had 20 between them.

The number of fines issued for littering has come down year-on-year, from 77 in 2015/16 to just 10 in 2018/19.

Wakefield Council said that the number of enforcement staff had not been cut during this time, and so the decline can't be explained by fewer resources.

Instead, the local authority believes people are becoming more vigilant against it.

Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s Service Director for Environment and Streetscene, said: "Sadly, overall across the district litter is still an issue. We do think that there has been a great community response recently to help us tackle it.

"Community action combined with the council’s work to clean up and the enforcement means we are now all pulling together to deal with the problem."

The council has to spend around £2.7m clearing up litter every year.

However, Councillor Maureen Cummings, Cabinet member for the environment, said residents were becoming "increasingly aware of the need to make Wakefield a nicer place to live and visit".

“Littering is a serious problem up and down the country, it is a blight on the environment and costs councils millions of pounds to clear but the residents of our district are becoming increasingly aware of the need to make Wakefield a nicer place to live and visit.

She added: "We are always heartened to hear of volunteer groups who organise litter picks in their local areas and recently launched our ‘Litter Heroes’ campaign.

“We want to encourage more litter heroes to join the cause and we will provide equipment, training and support to those who want to be involved and ‘stop the drop’.”

Anyone fined for littering in Wakefield is given a penalty of £75. This is reduced to £50 if it's paid within a week, but rises to £135 if it remains unpaid after a fortnight.

By numbers

Fines issued for littering by ward between April 2015 and March 2019

Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton - 2

Airedale and Ferry Fryston - 0

Altofts and Whitwood - 1

Castleford Central and Glasshoughton - 5

Crofton, Ryhill and Walton - 1

Featherstone - 0

Hemsworth - 2

Horbury and South Ossett - 0

Knottingley - 1

Normanton - 9

Ossett - 0

Pontefract North - 7

Pontefract South - 0

South Elmsall and South Kirkby - 3

Stanley and Outwood East - 1

Wakefield East - 6

Wakefield North - 104

Wakefield Rural - 0

Wakefield South - 0

Wakefield West - 7

Wrenthorpe and Outwood West - 2

Local Democracy Reporting Service