Pensioner given £300 fine by litter police over sandwich wrapper

The 70-year-old was confronted by two council officers

As she finished her chicken sandwich for lunch, little did Lynn Brown know she was being watched by the 'litter police'.

The 70-year-old was helping out pal Debbie Barwick who owns a vintage clothing store called Revivals Canterbury, Kent.

See also: Pensioner fined £80 for pouring coffee down drain

See also: Litter wardens paid up to £1k more when they issue more fines

Most days this would probably have been a low-key task.

But on May 9, Lynn found herself suddenly confronted by two stern-looking council officers wearing mirrored sunglasses and stab vests.

After being recited a police caution, she was quizzed about whether the shop had a 'commercial waste disposal licence'.

Lynn said: "I said I didn't know and would check with the owner Debbie, but then one of them pointed to my sandwich wrapper and said 'What are you going to do with that?'

"I told him I'd take it home and he said that I could be fined for illegally transporting commercial waste."

Credits: STIAN ALEXANDER

Debbie's shop Revivals was being watched Canterbury's litter police

To her astonishment, Lynn was then handed a fixed penalty fine of £300 for illegally disposing waste.

The council officers even revealed they had her actions on camera.

The great-grandma said: "I truly thought it was one big joke - I was waiting for the pair of them to start stripping off their uniforms, but they didn't, they just handed me the penalty notice."

She added: "I was like something out of George Orwell's 1984 - it was completely and utterly bonkers."

When owner Debbie Barwick heard about the fine she contacted Canterbury City Council and told them she did have a commercial waste disposal licence, but recycled all her rubbish or donated old stock to charity.

A spokesman for Canterbury City Council apologised for any distress caused and have scrapped the £300 fixed penalty notice.

The spokesman said: "Our enforcement officers visited the premises recently as part of this investigation.

"The owner was not present, but the officers issued a fixed penalty notice to a lady who they believed was managing the store at the time.

"During the conversation, food waste (the sandwich wrapper) was given as an example of the type of rubbish a business produces that is considered to be trade waste.

"Following a subsequent challenge by the lady, we accepted her point that she was merely minding the store on the owner's behalf and the fixed penalty notice was cancelled.

"We have written to her to notify her of this and, in the letter, also apologised if any distress was caused.

"Our investigation into the trade waste disposal issue at Revivals is continuing and we will be inviting the owner of the business in for an interview so we can try and resolve the matter."

But Debbie has been left angry by the confrontation.

She said: "Lynn is a great friend of mine and helps out in the shop when I can't be there.

"I was in hospital the day she opened up for me and she had to deal with this nonsense.

"What's worse is that they videoed her the whole time they were in the shop - all for a sandwich wrapper which was sitting on the counter."

She said that she had been running the shop for 28 years and this was the first time she had come across such 'bullyboy tactics' - saying she had a commercial waste disposal licence and that the council should have been 'fully aware'.

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