Leader: ‘These fines will send out a message’

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THERE are few things more frustrating – and downright disgusting – as you prepare to spend a day in the sun.

You hike into town with your picnic in hand and kids in tow, find a nice spot to settle down on the bustling Meadows, the sky is blue and the mercury is soaring . . . but what’s that smell? The remains of someone’s lunch thrown away the day before, the dozens of beer cans littering the flowerbeds, or the discarded barbecue and half-eaten burger?

It is a depressingly common scenario as soon as the sun comes out in the Capital, which is why today’s news that the city council is getting tough on the litterbugs is to be fully supported.

The city council, which is often blamed for the state of the city’s streets, can do little about those who treat our beauty spots like dustbins.

Exactly how hard is it to pick up you rubbish and carry it over to a bin to allow the next group of sun-worshippers to enjoy themselves? Presumably, those responsible do not throw the remains of their dinner on their living room floor at the end of the night and go to the toilet against the bookcase. Why then do they find such actions acceptable as soon as they are ~outside?

We hope the decision to enforce £50 fines this weekend will send out a message loud and clear that this sort of anti- social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Of course, the litter meanies will only be able to catch a small minority of offenders but the very fact that action is being taken and being publicised will hopefully have an impact.

The keep Edinburgh beautiful message is already drilled into children at school but ongoing education clearly needs to be targeted at adults, too.

No-one should be left in any doubt that there will be consequences for continuing to litter our streets and parks.

We are privileged to live in a city with so many wonderful open spaces and one which attracts so many visitors. So when the sun appears please let everyone enjoy it.