Wardens to fine people seen littering at QA Hospital site

Cigarette butts litter the floor outside one of the Queen Alexandra Hospital entrances  Picture: David Lee

Cigarette butts litter the floor outside one of the Queen Alexandra Hospital entrances Picture: David Lee

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  • QA Hospital has asked Portsmouth City Council to extend its litter patrols to the Cosham site
  • It comes as people drop their cigarette butts in the flower beds outside the main entrance
  • People seen dropping litter will be given a fixed penalty notice
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People seen dropping litter at a hospital site will be fined £75 by council wardens.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital at Cosham, has asked Portsmouth City Council to expand its litter patrols to include its grounds.

Sometimes, there are hundreds of cigarette butts in the bark of our flower beds.

Peter Mellor

It means anyone caught dropping litter, including cigarette butts and chewing gum, will be handed a £75 fixed penalty notice. The fines are expected to come in early next month.

The trust decided to bring in enforcement at the QA because cigarette ends are being thrown in the flowerbeds outside the hospital’s main entrance.

The move comes despite there being dedicated smoking shelters and bins outside QA’s main buildings.

Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development at QA, said: ‘Sometimes there are hundreds of cigarette butts in the bark of our flowerbeds.

‘We have designated smoking areas with bins and we hope this enforcement will encourage people to use them.

‘Portsmouth City Council has enforcement officers across the whole city and QA will be included in their patrols.

‘If they see people intentionally littering, they will be handed a £75 fixed penalty notice.’

Signs are being made by car park company Carillion and will be placed around the hospital site to warn people of the new enforcement.

The trust has made sure there are bins throughout the grounds for patients, visitors and staff to use.

Mr Mellor added: ‘We do not want to catch people out, so we are putting up signs and there will be 47 bins on site.’

QA is not paying for the service and money from the fines goes to the council.

Mr Mellor said: ‘It is put into a central pot and spent on street cleaning, bins and smoking bins.

Colette Hill, Portsmouth City Council’s assistant head of property and housing, said: ‘We’re working with QA to keep the city safe, clean and tidy for patients and visitors.

‘Our officers regularly patrol public areas to make sure littering is kept to a minimum and we are now joining forces with a number of landowners to make sure this applies to private land too.

‘There’s no excuse for deliberate littering and any money we receive from fines will go towards improving the environment.

‘However, we’d rather people just used the bins provided or took their litter home rather having to issue fines in the first place.’

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

How much will I get fined for dropping litter?

A fixed £75, the same as anywhere else in Portsmouth.

How quickly do I need to pay the fine?

Within 14 days.

Are cigarette butts and chewing gum classed as litter?

Yes, if left on the ground. These two items tend to be more of a nuisance and more expensive to clean that most other types of litter. Also, you should only be smoking in the designated smoking shelters at QA.

How do we know who the litter wardens are?

They are part of the Clean City team and will show you an ID card if they approach you about littering. They generally wear black, branded uniform.

Who is paying for them?

They are staff already employed by Portsmouth City Council and will carry out the patrols as part of their jobs.

How do we get fined?

You get issued with a fixed penalty notice in person when an officer sees you dropping litter and walking away from it. This notice tells you how to make the payment.

What happens if I don’t pay my fine?

Not paying a fixed penalty notice is a criminal offence which could see you go to court and get a criminal record.

What happens to money collected from the fines?

It goes into a central pot which is used on anti-littering activity across the city.

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