Chip could cost youngster £2,500

A CHIP throwing schoolboy could be battered with a £2,500 fine if he does not back down in an escalating row over a dropping litter.Ipswich Borough Council bosses have come out fighting in the wake of public criticism over landing 14-year-old Jack Double with a £50 fine after he threw a chip to a seagull during his lunch hour.

A CHIP throwing schoolboy could be battered with a £2,500 fine if he does not back down in an escalating row over a dropping litter.

Ipswich Borough Council bosses have come out fighting in the wake of public criticism over landing 14-year-old Jack Double with a £50 fine after he threw a chip to a seagull during his lunch hour.

Despite national media attention the council said it will not write off the fine and told him to pay up or go to court.

Jack's mum Mandy remains defiant and is refusing to cough up the cash - but if the row goes as far as court he could be fined as much as £2,500.


You may also want to watch:


A council spokesman said the authority has a “zero tolerance” policy to litterbugs and is not prepared to cancel the fine.

The spokesman said: “Food waste is litter and attracts vermin.

Most Read

“It does not really matter if it is one chip or 10 chips - dropping litter is against the law.

“We have been into schools and explained what we are doing, so there is really no excuse.

“As to this case, we saw this boy drop the chip on to the ground and then refuse to give our enforcement officers his name.

“He was about 10 yards from a bin and our officers did not see any gulls.

“Just five minutes earlier we fined a girl for dropping a piece of paper. She has paid.

“We cannot have one rule for one person and a different rule for another.”

But Mrs Double said her son was getting tired of the whole affair and has repeated her call for the council to call off the chase.

She said: “This is pathetic and petty.

“I'm not going to pay the fine and I'm prepared to go to court over this.”

Since The Evening Star first reported on Jack's fine last week the majority of public opinion has been hugely in favour of his steadfast stance.

A poll conducted on The Evening Star website showed that 258 out of the 316 people that voted (82 per cent) felt the council was wrong to fine him.

Meanwhile comments posted on the website have also questioned the council stance.

One comment read: “What a stupid series of events. It just goes to show how pathetic councils can be!

Another asked: “Will my daughter be fined for dropping a chocolate button from her buggy?”

n.What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink:

www.ipswich.gov.uk

n> A chip, a seagull and a big row in Ipswich - see Edblog at www.eveningstar.co.uk

n> The town's campaign against litter began in 2005 when the council ran an awareness drive to highlight the fact that people dropping rubbish faced £50 fines.

n> This included visits to schools in the town to make sure children get into the right habit at a young age.

n> Litter enforcement officers began handing out fines in February 2006 and police community support officers have also got the power to issue the fixed penalty notices.

n> As of November last year more than 100 littering tickets had been handed out for people dropping among other things, chewing gum, cigarette butts and wrappers.

n> If the fine is paid in 14 days no further action is taken but non-payment results in the offender going to court where the maximum fine is £2,500.

Comments posted on Edblog:

Helen

I loathe litter, but don't consider compostable items to be litter. If you throw an apple core away for instance, it decomposes or is eaten by wildlife. It is hardly the same as throwing away a cigarette butt which takes approx 200 years to decompose. Or spitting out your chewing gum on the high street, which I believe costs the council approx £30k a year to have steamed off our town centre pavements. Ultimately, we as tax payers fund this farce. Shouldn't we have a say in how the council waste our money?

Trevor

I wonder if these council officials would have done the same if they had spotted a group of hoodies, or perhaps a couple of burly drunks dropping a cigarette butt or even a whole bag of chips. I doubt it somehow; they always seem to pick easy targets to make a point.

Mac

Personally I think this has gone too far. With a chip being organic it would rot away anyway, would be different if it had been a can or the chip wrappers themselves but to fine a child £50 for dropping a biodegradable product that would be eaten by the local wildlife is just plain wrong. Don't get me wrong, I abhor litter and those that drop it but this says to me that the council has nothing better to do with its time/people than to persecute children for dropping their lunch. Will my daughter be fined for dropping a chocolate button from her buggy?

Matt

Quite right - please don't spend any more of my Council Tax pursuing this. But if we must punish the poor lad send Jamie Oliver round to cook him up a tofu omelette with sprout sauce; surely eating chips for school dinner is much more prosecutable these days than feeding the seagull.

Dave

So in that case feeding any animals could be classed as littering, whether it be feeding ducks in a lake or giving your dog a treat when you're on a walk!

I guess the "council official" had nothing else better to do! I guess it goes to show that they are over paid, and under worked!!!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter