Smokers were furious when Kirklees Council’s new private ‘litter enforcers’ fined them £75 on the spot for dropping cigarette butts in the street.
Now the council’s own staff stand accused of leaving cigarette ends on the ground in their own smokers’ corner.
Smokers who work in Civic Centre I in Huddersfield town centre meet up in a council car park behind the building in Albion Street.
Groups of smokers can be seen lighting up on their breaks.
The Examiner was contacted by a passer-by who noticed how cigarette ends were scattered on the ground and how the wall nearby appeared to be blackened by people stubbing out cigarettes.
This week the Examiner reported how a private company called Kingdom had secured a contract to provide litter enforcement to the council.
The company has taken on a 12-month pilot to issued fixed penalty notices over dropping litter, dog fouling, fly-posting and other aspects of anti-social behaviour.
Last week smokers seen dropping cigarette ends in Huddersfield town centre were slapped with £75 fines.
A woman left angry over the fines pointed out what she described as the “irony” of the council fining the public for dropping cigarette ends while their own staff apparently did the same.
“It’s an absolute disgrace,” she said.
An Examiner photographer watched staff come and go through automatic doors into a council building and smoke outside. He later took pictures of cigarette ends on the ground.
In a statement the council’s chief executive Jacqui Gedman said: “Staff who sign out for cigarette breaks are allowed to take their break close to the door.
“However, it is absolutely unacceptable that they drop the waste on the floor and do not use the bins provided. I will remind all staff of their responsibilities.
“There are no special privileges for working for the council, and I would expect the enforcement officers to apply the same guidance to staff as they do to members of the public who they see littering.”