Put your rubbish in the right place or face a big fine

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PEOPLE are being warned they face fines of hundreds of pounds if they put their rubbish bags in the wrong place.

It comes as two residents were summoned to court for repeatedly ignoring pleas from Portsmouth City Council to put their black bags in the right spot.

Amy Sharpe, of Kilmiston Close, Buckland, was ordered to pay a total of £357.16 in a fine and costs.

And Martin Bundy, of Grafton Street, Buckland, must pay £307.16.

Neither of them turned up for their hearings at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court but the cases went ahead in their absence.

Prosecutor Victoria Putnam said the council had written to both offenders three times to ask them to put their rubbish in communal bins.

They were each then given fixed penalty notices of £100 which they ignored while continuing to put their rubbish in the wrong place.

Finally they were summoned to court but again they ignored the letters.

A third person, Wendy Chelton, also of Kilmiston Close, had the court proceedings dropped after paying a £100 fixed penalty notice.

Cllr Eleanor Scott, the cabinet member for environment, said: ‘It’s sad that it gets to the stage of court but on the other hand we have a duty to other residents to act and protect them.

‘The magistrates wouldn’t impose a fine unless everything had been done properly.

‘It has to be proportionate and the residents are given a number of opportunities to alter their behaviour and stop being a nuisance.’

The Lib Dem councillor said problems with rubbish were the most common complaint from people in the city.

‘Residents I speak to tell me they do want the council to act,’ she said.

‘I’m very conscious that we do have to be proportionate. We don’t want to be heavy-handed which is why we have the process in place.

‘It’s unusual for people to end up in court over this but we have a responsibility to everyone.’

She added: ‘To others who do this I would say please don’t ignore the reasonable requests and the warnings because complaints from other residents will keep coming and the city council will act upon them.

‘We have got to think of the collective good for all.’

The council offers support to anyone who has trouble putting their rubbish out.

For more information call the street cleaning line on (023) 9283 4092.