An 18-month-old is at the centre of a littering row, after a napkin dropped from the child’s ice cream cone incurred a litter fine.
Although the fixed penalty was made out to the girl’s mother, her aunt insists it was the child who’d dropped the litter by mistake.
According to council the fine was issued after the child’s mother threw down the napkin.
The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon in the car park at Rushmere.
Annemarie Greene said: “It was raining and we were rushing back to the car. My niece, who’s one and a half, was eating an ice cream in a poke and it was only when we got into the car that we realised she’d dropped the napkin. There was a knock at the window and this man with council ID gave us a ticket for littering.
“The £80 ticket was made out to my sister even though it was her daughter who dropped the napkin. She didn’t drop it deliberately.”
Annemarie said: “We would go to Rushmere all the time, but this has annoyed me so much I might not be back.
“My sister paid the fine straight away. Even though she found it ridiculous she didn’t want to have it hanging over her.”
Environmental wardens employed by council have the authority to carry out patrols throughout the borough in all areas open to the public and will issue fixed penalty fines to those people they see littering.
A council spokesperson said: “It is not normal practice for council to comment on individual cases where a notice has been issued. However, as the complainant has directly raised the issue herself, we can confirm the warden clearly saw a lady cleaning ice cream from a child’s hands with a paper tissue then throwing it on the ground before getting into her car. When he approached her, he explained what he had observed and advised her he would be issuing a fixed penalty notice. At no point did the lady raise any objections with the warden and paid the fine that afternoon.”