School pupils face £80 fines for dropping litter
School pupils at all East Ayrshire high schools will face an £80 fine if they are caught throwing rubbish.
But the penalty will be withdrawn if the child attends a supervised litter pick.
The scheme was signed off by councillors following a recent trial programme at Loudoun Academy in Galston.
The campaign was spearheaded by Rubbish Party councillor Sally Cogley, who has hailed it as a UK first.
Ms Cogley said: "East Ayrshire will be doing something that has never been done in the UK before. It has changed behaviour at Loudoun Academy.
"The litter in schools initiative is a no brainer and will make a difference. We have tried and tested it."
Fixed penalty notice
Ms Cogley was elected in May 2017, just two months after she founded the party to focus on the issues of waste and littering.
The Irvine Valley politician insisted it would not criminalise children after concerns were voiced at a council meeting.
She proposed a motion at full council for four politicians to set up a cross party and ward group to tackle the problems of dog fouling, litter and fly tipping.
They will be responsible for overseeing the roll-out of the fixed penalty litter scheme in all secondary schools.
Dropping litter is an offence in Scotland and anyone caught could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80.
Ms Cogley said: "The focus and approach will be on education and prevention coupled with effective enforcement."
"The aim is not to criminalise young people."
She pointed out that the fixed penalty notice would be cancelled if the child attended a litter pick.
Ms Cogley explained that if the pupil did not attend one, then the school would take other action.
Councillor Jacqui Todd said she was worried that children could be excluded if they did not comply.
The politicians who are to sit on the anti-litter group alongside Councillor Cogley are Annick councillor Ellen Freel, Kilmarnock North councillor Ian Grant and Kilmarnock East and Hurlford councillor Barry Douglas.
Council leader Douglas Reid said: "It is about improving the quality of our environment. We need to get behind this."
The motion said the aim of the cross-party group was to ensure "East Ayrshire Council continues to maximise the benefits of a cleaner and safer environment," making it a "more attractive place to live, learn, work and visit."
Story provided by local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley.