Please stub it out... and bin it
Town centre improvements continue with increased investment by Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC).
The committee, which acts in a similar role to a town council and is composed of Boston Borough Councillors from the town wards, has already contributed to improvements to town centre play areas, and planting schemes. It has also funded more community events than ever before this year and paid towards the town centre maintenance team of three.
Now it is rolling out a programme of litter bin replacement to tackle the scourge of cigarette-related litter.
BTAC agreed £22,410 to purchase 90 litter bins for the main town centre areas.
Data from the council's enforcement partners, 3GS, showed that 71 per cent or 567 fixed penalty notices served in 2017/18 related to discarded cigarette ends.
Many of the existing litter bins allowed smokers to extinguish their cigarettes using a stub-out panel on top of the bins where they then got left to be dislodged when the wind blew.
The new replacement bins have an integral ash tray capable of containing stubbed-out cigarettes, eliminating any risk of fire. The 120-litre capacity bins have been selected for their superior, robust build quality and require virtually no maintenance.
They have consistent branding providing a positive impression to people who live, work and visit Boston.
The bins that these will replace will be refurbished wherever possible and used in other areas around the borough, making considerable savings when replacing damaged and worn-out bins.
Improved town centre signage has been proposed in the next round of investment and £12,550 is to be spent by BTAC on refurbishing town centre public toilets to make them more resistant to vandalism attacks.
BTAC chairman, Cllr Sue Ransome, said: "Great strides have been made in dealing with town centre litter, but cigarette litter has remained a continuing problem. It is no longer acceptable to simply thrown down a cigarette end. It is litter and anyone caught doing so will face a £75 fine. We are making it much easier to avoid this with the new bins, which will be abundant in the town centre and provide for responsible smokers to stub their cigarette out and dispose of it safely into the bin. Please use them.
"Recent investment by BTAC represents value for money for all those residents in the town centre wards who pay the special town rate."
With one of the new town centre litter bins, especially designed to cater for smokers, are, from left, Cllr Nigel Welton, BTAC member and borough council portfolio holder for the town centre, the town centre maintenance team - Julian Beavis, Andy Kelk and Steve Phelps - and Cllr Sue Ransome, BTAC chairman