Exmouth called on to support ‘gum tax’

An Exmouth man, sick and tired of stepping on discarded gum, is urging fellow residents to sign his petition calling for a new ‘gum tax.’

Withycombe’s Nigel McArthur, 52, has set up an online petition on a government website, arguing that people who chew gum should pay for its clean-up.

And, despite the petition being online for just a few days, he has already garnered 53 signatories.

Mr McArthur says that �500m is made from gum sales each year, and a levy of 30 per cent would raise �150m.

He says that the government should invite bids from private companies to remove gum residue from town and city centres, and suggests bids at �5 for every metre cleaned.

East Devon District Council has only one chewing gum remover for the whole district, and Mr McArthur said: “Exmouth has spent �3m on the Strand and the paving is already badly marked.

“Now more has to be spent in cleaning it up.

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“I’m sick of seeing chewing gum everywhere, getting stuck to my shoes, on benches, on lampposts, and on pavements.

“I can’t think of another product which you can buy which is so useless and creates the stains, and the awful mess, that chewing gum does.

“If you chew it and discard it, you should pay to clean it up.”

l You can sign Nigel’s petition online at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/805

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