Chippy backs Jack in litter row
A FLABBERGASTED chippy is the latest in a line of people to question a decision to fine a schoolboy for throwing a single chip.Nineteen people have already sent in petitions to The Evening Star, backing the stand of 14-year-old Jack Double who has refused to pay a £50 fine from Ipswich Borough Council after he threw a chip to a seagull during his lunch hour.
A FLABBERGASTED chippy is the latest in a line of people to question a decision to fine a schoolboy for throwing a single chip.
Nineteen people have already sent in petitions to The Evening Star, backing the stand of 14-year-old Jack Double who has refused to pay a £50 fine from Ipswich Borough Council after he threw a chip to a seagull during his lunch hour.
Now the youngster, who lives in Mallard Way, Ipswich, is facing a £2,500 bill and a court appearance if he doesn't pay up.
Steve Bowers, manager at J's Traditional Fish and Chips on Cambridge Drive near Chantry High School where Jack is a pupil, said he thought the council's zero-tolerance approach was ridiculous.
He said: “It's a bit silly.
“A fine for just one chip seems bizarre. I can understand they want to keep the street clean but this takes it too far.
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“If you're going to fine someone for this then you'll have to fine everyone for everything.
“It makes sense if it is a cigarette out of a car window because that can be dangerous but this decision is baffling.”
However Mr Bowers said he tried to discourage youngsters who bought food from him from littering and to make sure they kept the road clean.
He said: “Students come in here at lunchtime and they throw chips but the seagulls pick them up.
“Litter isn't a big problem here though it can be a problem out the back when the wind blows it about, but that is much more wrappers from sweets than chips.
“I do tell the children not to litter but there are a group of them that won't listen and they make a mess with containers and the bags and the school then has a go at them.
“But it does cause a mess in people's gardens so I tell them not to do it or they'll get into trouble with the council.”
Despite massive support for Jack the council is still not budging from its position and is refusing to cancel the fine.
A chip, a seagull and a big row in Ipswich - see Edblog at www.eveningstar.co.uk
Many Star readers have commented on the situation - some saying the council is right and others backing Jack all the way.
1. If all these officials have to do is to pick on a young lad feeding the seagull then their jobs needs to be eliminated and they need to be deployed elsewhere within the council.
2. What rights do they have to enter a school and demand information about its pupils?
3. What was the school doing releasing information on a say so by two gentlemen in litter patrol uniform?
4. Finally, if seagulls are vermin, why aren't they being eliminated as part of the council's public health duties?
All this is doing, is creating more of an 'us and them' divide between the communities of Ipswich, and the authorities.
We live in a democratic country, and it seems that, once again, our representatives are ignoring the voice of the majority. Down with this Big Brother nonsense.
I do not want my Council Tax contribution wasted on this but suppose I don't have a choice. The bi-weekly refuse collection farce is far more likely to attract vermin than Jack's chip. Absolutely pathetic. The biggest rats seem to working for the council.
I think the council are right to prosecute. There is no need to drop litter of any form - there are sufficient bins around the town to dispose of such items properly. Even if there aren't enough bins, it's not difficult to take it home, or dispose of it properly elsewhere.
The argument that it's bio-degradeable is of little importance. Have you ever skidded on a chip? Might be funny to watch - but it's not nice to experience.
However, the lad might feel aggrieved simply because enforcement seems to be inconsistent - I'm unsure how many such prosecutions have taken place.