COUNCILLOR Derique Montaut is hoping to resolve a sticky situation that seems to be hanging around.

At this week’s full council meeting, Coun Montaut (Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South) will bring forward a motion on the disposal of chewing gum.

He says more needs to be done to stop people littering the areas they live in, and that more severe penalties would act as a deterrent.

In August 2010, Swindon Council was one of 12 local authorities which took part in a campaign, run by the Chewing Gum Action Group, which saw posters placed around the town warning those caught dropping gum for the first time could be handed £80 fixed penalties.

This could lead to a maximum fine of £2,500 after summary conviction.

An enforcement team also targeted chewers directly, informing them of litter powers, and handing out fixed penalty notices to any person found littering.

Coun Montaut, though, believes more needs to be done to change people’s standards and get them to think more about the community.

He said: “Quite simply what we see is a lot of people that are totally uncaring and have a total disrespect of the area they live in.

“This issue is about trying to get people to pay respect to the community they live in.

“A lot of this takes place in shopping centres and it leaves the area looking horrible.

“I think spitting and the disposal of chewing gum on our streets is an antisocial, unpleasant and unhealthy practice.

“It not only makes the area look bad but it is also costing the council money. I think I worked out each piece of chewing gum dropped costs 8p to clear up.

“In Singapore they have brought in new laws to stop spitting and dropping chewing gum.

“It has helped and there are many authorities in this country following that idea.

“I think that anybody who drops chewing gum should be given a significant financial penalty of between £70 and £5,000, then people will seriously think about what they are doing.

“There will always be an issue policing it but that is where the community needs to come together.

“I would call on local wardens, car parking attendants and street cleaners to help the police.”

Coun Montaut will request that the director of law and democratic services reports back to the council on September 26 as to whether a ban on spitting and the disposal of chewing gum on the ground in the town centre and public places is possible.

If so, he will also ask how this could be implemented.

He will also ask the cabinet member for public protection, Richard Hurley, to explore ways of ensuring that producers of chewing gum products subscribe to the cost incurred of cleaning and repairing areas damaged by their products.