FINES for anyone who drops litter in Halton are going up as part of a clampdown on environmental crime.

It follows a change in environmental offences legislation to allow local authorities to set the charge of F

fixed penalty notices (FPN) for littering, graffiti, fly-posting and distributing printed matter.

The council’s current FPN for those offences is £80 and under new regulations they can now increase to a maximum of £150.

However a report to the environment and urban renewal board proposes to raising the current fine to £100, with a £25 reduction if paid within 10 days.

The report states: “It is considered that this level of increase on current rates is sufficient to send a strong deterrent message that environmental crime is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Halton.

“It will also allow the council scope to review and increase the amount in future should even stronger deterrent messages be deemed necessary. ”

Members of the board will be asked to consider and endorse the proposed FPN and early payment amounts at the environment and urban renewal policy meeting today.

The report notes that the default charge for dog fouling offences is £100 – the maximum allowed for such an offence – and the increase for litter FPNs would allow for consistency.

It is hoped that by making use of new powers to tackle those responsible the council will contribute to “improving the local environment and the appearance of the borough which shall in turn have an overall beneficial effect on health and well-being”.