Allen McPherson (Letters, 6 July) rightly condemns the disgraceful amount of litter in Scotland. The cost of litter wardens in West Lothian is £500,000 yet the fines collected were only £2,000.
One excuse, and that is all it was, was that the litter wardens went to schools to preach their anti-litter message.
Apologists say that education is the way forward but in the 40-plus years I have been in Linlithgow nothing has changed.
The council refuses to fine children under 16, although it legally can, and the school lunch time shows evidence of this.
Each litter warden costs more than £30,000 a year so it is time that they earned their salaries. They should be patrolling the food outlets over the lunch period, not taking their break away from the action. A vigil outside the pubs at night would yield lots of penalties from discarded cigarette butts but that is too obvious and perhaps too stressful for the wardens.
They should not have 9am to 5pm hours but flexible hours so that other litter menace, the dog owner who does not clear up, is caught in the early morning and late evening.
Until there are meaningful fines and enforcement the £100 million a year cost will escalate.
I fully support Allen McPherson’s letter about litter, and I agree that a lack of embarrassment plays a very big part in the whole problem.
A few weeks ago I was waiting at a bus stop with my neighbour and her young son, and she just threw her empty juice box on the ground. I was astonished, and not only because there was a bin about three yards away.
So I bent over and addressed her little boy, saying: “Oh dear, it looks like your mummy dropped that juice box by accident. Shall we pick it up and put it in the bin?”
The mother started shouting at me and telling me that she was doing local council workers a favour – that street cleaners would be made unemployed if they didn’t have rubbish to clean up.
It is clear that we can no longer rely on all parents to teach children how to behave, because they were obviously never taught by their own parents. Better education and harsher penalties are our only options now.