Smokers who face being fined£25 for dropping cigarette butts in Edinburgh streets claimed last night that the anti-litter initiative constituted a 'dangerous fire hazard'. Environment wardens issuing on-the-spot penalties as part of a clean-up drive by the city council have been targeting smokers for not using bins. However, campaigners for smokers' rights believe encouraging people to discard freshly-extinguished cigarettes in litter bins often already filled with cumbustibles is a greater fire risk, report The Herald (30/11/02, p7).
Tony Redmond, the local government ombudsman, has recommended that the council pays compensation to two pensioners who 'were hounded by ITNet after they received too much housing benefit,' reports the Highbury & Islington Express (29/11/02).
AND FINALLY ...
Birmingham City Council's multi-million pound computer system is so inefficient that the local authority would be better off using carrier pigeons to communicate, according to frustrated councillor Ray Hassall, reports The Birmingham Post(29/11/02, p4).
by assistant editor Neil Watson