Now Playing

Coolio & LV

Gangsta's Paradise

Councillor claims signs urging litter louts not to be 'tossers' are 'demeaning'

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 19:15

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

A councillor has called for a re-think of an anti-litter campaign urging people in the Bradford district not to be “a tosser” – describing it as demeaning.

The eye-catching campaign was launched across the area in 2019 as part of a crackdown on people who throw litter from cars.

Posters featuring the double entendre “Don’t Be a Tosser” and a warning that motorists could be fined up to £100 if they are caught littering were placed on some of the major roads in the city.

The cheeky message on the posters was brought up at a meeting of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Committee on Thursday night, during an item on fly tipping in the district.

Councillor Noor Elahi (Independent, Little Horton) told the meeting he was not a fan of the confrontational nature of the signs.
He said: “I have a serious issue with some signs. There are ones that say ‘Don’t be a Tosser.’ I find that a bit demeaning.

“Could you not look at this? When I was younger we had better signs that said things like ‘Keep Britain Tidy.”

Stuart Russo, Senior Technical Officer, defended the signs, pointing out they were developed in partnership with the organisation Keep Britain Tidy.

Litter louts would not likely pay any attention to “nice” signs, he argued.

He said: “One thing Keep Britain Tidy has tried to do is behaviour change.

“A nice poster might only work with the people who already wouldn’t litter. It is like we’ve seen with public health campaigns where you have quite graphic images around car crashes or people disfigured by accidents. It gets people’s attention.

“A nice poster saying ‘please don’t drop litter’ is only going to appeal to people who are not the problem – it is not catching the attention of the people who are the problem.

“There was a lot of research prior to that campaign.”

Cllr Elahi replied: “Well you need to re-think it.”

In the same meeting members were told the Council was looking at if it would be possible to develop a social media page featuring fly tippers who had been caught on camera, but who the Council were unable to identify.

Noreen Akhtar Assistant Director Neighbourhoods and Customer Services, said: “It would not name them, as we don’t know their names, but it would shame them and get people to come forward to identify them.”

Chair of the Committee Kamran Hussain (Lab, Toller) suggested the big screen in City Park could be used to screen CCTV images of people caught fly tipping in a bid to identify them.

More from Latest local news

Rombalds Radio apps

Today's weather

  • Skipton

    Heavy rain shower

    High: 15°C | Low: 10°C

  • Ilkley

    Heavy rain shower

    High: 15°C | Low: 10°C