Angry residents want Southend Council to fine hospital staff for dropping cigarette butts near their homes.
Trevor Murray, of Hillborough Road, said he has watched the litter build up over the years - and enough’s enough.
He said: “It’s not just outside my stretch of road, but across all the roads around the hospital. Recently I have just been trudging through the cigarettes but nothing is done about it. No one is fined.”The image of Trevor battling gamely through a huge drift of discarded cigarette butts like a Canadian mountie determined to get his man in the frozen Yukon will stay with me a while...
But why are hospital staff dropping cigarette butts in roads anyway?
Southend Hospital has a no smoking policy on its grounds, which often leaves those workers who smoke the options of either stopping or resorting to nearby roads.Ah.
Mr Murray, 78, claims it has become a health hazard. He said: “I can actually smell it. I think the hospital has got a big problem. A lot of their staff smoke.”You mean, they can't even persuade their own staff to give up? Despite the millions of pounds they spend?
Yvonne Blücher, managing director of Southend Hospital, said: “We have been made aware of issues with staff littering cigarette butts off of the hospital site.
“The trust maintains a no smoking policy on site. We have increased our no smoking signs in key areas and introduced a tannoy system to remind people that we are a no smoking site.”Yes dear. That's the point. That's why they are dropping them everywhere else. I don't suppose you'd consider changing the policy?
“Whilst we can’t stop our staff smoking off site, they do have an obligation to dispose of their own rubbish responsibly. Although there are already lots of litter bins with ashtrays at the entrances to our hospital site, we are looking to manage the problem better. One thing we will be doing is cleaning in those off site areas.”No, of course not. You'll just spend more taxpayer's cash on non-medical issues, after all,. it grows on trees, doesn't it?