'Stub out the mess'

PUBLISHED: 02:01 09 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:08 10 June 2010

CIVIC leaders are calling on all Exmouth businesses to help stop the scourge of Exmouth discarded cigarette butts. They will ask East Devon District Council to write to all businesses in an effort to stub out the problem. The campaign follows concerns f

CIVIC leaders are calling on all Exmouth businesses to help stop the scourge of Exmouth - discarded cigarette butts.They will ask East Devon District Council to write to all businesses in an effort to stub out the problem.The campaign follows concerns from the custodians of the town's heritage, The Exmouth Society, which attributes the problem to the smoking ban introduced last July.Chairman of the Exmouth Society Michael Gittins said: "We have noticed a tremendous litter problem from cigarette butts on the pavements and in the gutters outside public houses."It is, of course, a criminal offence to drop litter of any sort, but many seem to think cigarette butts are exempt."He requested the council seeks a voluntary agreement with the Licensed Victuallers Association to provide wall litter bins outside their premises - and singled out the Pilot Inn for its responsible action.He added that businesses should "take a few minutes either last thing at night or first thing in the morning to sweep the frontage clean. The mess as we see it at present is a disgrace to the town."Councillors wanted to go further and ask EDDC to contact all businesses - and ask Tony Collins, the town manager, to visit businesses to get the message across.Councillor Steve Gazzard said: "When I have spoken to people discarding cigarette butts, all I've got is abuse."There is not a lot more we can do - we have to ask East Devon. All we want is for businesses to take responsibility for their staff and customers."Some pubs have behaved very reasonably, and we just want this to be repeated."We have seen there has been a noticeable improvement around Somerfield - a lot of staff smoke outside. We want to know what they have done and if it could be repeated throughout the town." Cllr Ken Harper said the plan could work, but added: "It depends on the mentality of the people. On Sunday, I went to the seafront and a young girl just poured chips on the floor and laughed."But, if we contact the businesses and make them set an example, it could make a difference.

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