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City of London Corporation policy chair, Catherine McGuiness, explains why increasing littering fines has helped the streets of the Square Mile stay as clan as ever.

With over half a million people coming into the Square Mile to work every day, 18.4million visiting each year, and a dynamic and vibrant resident population, it’s no surprise that we need to work so hard to keep our streets free from rubbish.

And with all the hustle and bustle of the Square Mile it’s quite easy to not notice how remarkably clean it is considering these facts.

Have you ever wondered how our streets are maintained?

Aside from having very dedicated street cleaners, the City of London Corporation also has a few measures in place to both deter and penalise those who would want to undo this hard work.

After updates in government environmental legislation last year, the City Corporation decided to increase the charge in fines for littering offences.

From 1 April this year, those who are caught dropping their rubbish instead of binning it will be forced to pay up to £150.

Our updated enforcement powers mean that City Corporation street environment officers now have the power to issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN) charge of £80 if paid within 10 days – and maximum of £150 if not paid. They were previously £50 and £80, respectively.

Other offences that could result in the issue of a FPN include fly-tipping and graffitiing. Fortunately, these are less of a problem in the City.

This increase serves to strengthen our deterrent against such behaviour and is a bold message to offenders who litter repeatedly.

Nobody has an excuse to drop their litter or cigarette ends in the Square Mile, and we want to make sure residents can go about their daily lives in a clean, litter-free environment.

There are 64 on-street Big Belly Bins across the Square Mile for the public to use, which compact eight times as much rubbish as normal bins.

And smokers can use over 900 mounted ashtrays to stub out and dispose of their cigarettes.

Last year the City Corporation spent £3.8million cleaning the City’s streets and sweeps up to six million cigarette butts every year.

The Square Mile is a world-class destination, home to iconic landmarks such as the Barbican Centre, Tower Bridge, the Old Bailey and St Paul’s Cathedral.

It is also the world’s leading international financial centre, and its residents, workers and visitors – who make up its DNA – rightly expect the street scene to be of a very high standard in which to live, work and play.

We take a stand on litter because we want to make sure that our City functions as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The Square Mile needs to be an attractive place in which to live and work, so our residents can enjoy a high quality of life – and we can remain globally competitive.

We all have a responsibility to work together so we can continue to achieve this aim.

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