Local News

Hundreds of pounds for Happy Meal after littering fine

Love Where You Live: Buddy the Bin
Love Where You Live: Buddy the Bin

An Andover woman had an expensive Happy Meal after she was caught in the act by a councillor, dumping her fast food rubbish in a disabled car parking spot.

Test Valley Borough Council prosecuted Tracy Parsons, of Waterloo Terrace, Anna Valley, to the tune of £284 for her takeaway food after littering it earlier this summer.

Tracy Parsons was seen by TVBC elected councillor Phil Lashbrook, as Ms Parsons carried  the food from the McDonald’s outlet on New Street, Andover, on the evening of June 7 earlier this year. The 57-year-old walked back to her car, which was parked in Churchill Retail Park.

Then, Ms Parsons moved her car into the disabled parking spaces, closer to the entrance, before opening her door and dumping the fast food waste onto the ground, then driving off. 

After councillor Lashbrook sent two photos in to Test Valley Borough Council of Ms Parsons in the act, a fixed penalty notice for littering was sent to her with a letter explaining the offence.

However, after 14 days and no payment being received, Ms Parsons was prosecuted, where she also failed to attend court. In her absence at Southampton Magistrates Court, she was fined £150, ordered to pay £100 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Environmental portfolio holder, councillor Alison Johnston, said: “This just proves that there’s no escaping being so selfish and waiting for someone else to clean up your mess. There are public bins all over the centre of Andover, including one in the same car park that Ms Parsons was parked in; it just beggars belief.

I’m grateful for the quick thinking of councillor Lashbrook in catching Ms Parsons in the act and the work of our environmental service and legal teams in taking this to prosecution.”

Councillor Lashbrook, added: “You can’t just sit by as someone throws their waste away and leaves it for the taxpayer to clean up. Our officers work so hard to keep the borough tidy and welcoming – these things don’t just happen. I’m pleased in this case that the person responsible will be footing the bill and hopefully will think twice next time.”