A TEAM of environmental wardens will have an extra weapon in their fight against litter.

From today, the six-man team covering Easington district will be able to issue £50 fines to people caught dropping litter.

The group was set up by Easington District Council in March 2000 in response to public concerns about the environment.

The team, made up of three wardens and three trainees, can already fine people £50 for letting their dogs foul the streets, which is succeeding in tackling the problem.

Councillor David Taylor Gooby said: "Improving the local environment is important to residents and all district of Easington councillors.

"We are strengthening our enforcement teams to take action against people who ignore the laws which make dog fouling and littering a criminal offence."