Councillors to write to Eric Pickles over spitting ban proposals

Pam Fletcher and Maria Brown signing a Labour party petition asking for spitting and urinating in th

Pam Fletcher and Maria Brown signing a Labour party petition asking for spitting and urinating in the street to be made a fineable offence (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Barking and Dagenham could be moving a step closer to becoming a spit-free borough, with councillors set to seek government approval for a new by-law.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

After a 2,000-strong petition was presented to borough bosses calling for spitting and weeing in public to be outlawed, councillors have voted unanimously to write to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Under the proposals, anyone caught hawking up will be committing a criminal offence and issued with a fixed penalty notice, as residents would be for dropping litter or leaving dog mess in the street.

Danny and Pamela Fletcher, 76 and 73 perspectively, of Salisbury Lane, Barking, are among those residents calling for the phlegm ban.

Danny said: “We consider it absolutely revolting and something has to be done – there’s just no need for it.

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell Cllr Phil Waker with the Labour party petition asking for spittin

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell Cllr Phil Waker with the Labour party petition asking for spitting and urinating in the street to be made a fineable offence (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

“It spreads germs and you see it all the time now – it never used to be as bad as this.”

Cllr Laila Butt, cabinet member for crime and enforcement, believes bringing in the new offence through a by-law will help the council provide a clear focus on prevention.

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“Spitting is anti-social and the number of signatures on the petition reflects how strongly our residents feel about it,” she said.

“Our residents should be able to enjoy the borough’s public and green spaces and such byelaws can help to prevent anti-social behaviour such as spitting.”

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