A COUNCILLOR is naming and shaming litter louts on social media in a bid to clean up the streets of Darlington.

Cllr Nick Wallis took to Facebook on Monday to share information collated from the magistrates’ courts.

On a group devoted to litter-picking, he posted the names and addresses of four Darlington residents guilty of dropping litter and included details of the punishments they received.

Cllr Wallis’ post referenced two women who recently pleaded guilty by post to dropping litter and were fined in their absence, with one made to pay a £40 fine, £75 costs and a victim surcharge of £30 and the other ordered to pay a £147 fine, costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £30.

It also provided details of two others who were found guilty in their absence, with one fined £220 and made to pay costs of £244.83 and a victim surcharge of £30 and the other fined £220 and told to pay costs of £183 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Cllr Wallis, who hopes that the highlighting of such cases will act as a deterrent to others, said members of the public had welcomed his move to ‘name and shame’ those who litter.

He said: “The council takes a zero tolerance approach to littering and dog fouling and we have always had a good record in challenging littering and taking people to court if they fail to pay penalty notices.

“The people who don’t reply to penalty notices quite properly are being taken to court where fines are quite substantial.

“Enforcement by the council costs money and while the fine goes directly to Westminster, we do get some costs back.

“We want to crack down on people who are littering and we will not tolerate it.

“These people were given the opportunity to pay a fixed penalty and the opportunity to attend court to give any mitigation but did not.

“Court is not closed and people are welcoming my posts naming those who have been fined - I hope doing this will prove to be a deterrent to others.”

Cllr Wallis urged people to join the town’s Street Champions initiative as he praised those working voluntarily to clean up their communities.

He said: “The majority of those in Darlington are responsible and don’t litter, with many collecting litter themselves.

“There’s so much positive work going on and I’d like more people to join in with the fantastic work the Street Champions do.”

For more information, visit Darlington Street Champions on Facebook.