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Supermarkets may be fined for abandoned trolleys

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West Berkshire councillor Julian Swift-Hook (Lib Dem, Greenham) wrote to the executive member for the environment, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) this week to urge the council to consider adopting a scheme similar to one adopted by Reading Borough Council.
Mr Swift-Hook’s ward, Greenham, has long suffered from discarded trolleys, with neighbourhood wardens spending much of their time collecting and then returning these to stores in the area, but he said that other wards, including Calcot, also suffered similar problems.
In Reading, the borough council decided to charge stores a fee of £15 for the removal of trolleys, £7.50 for storage, £15 for the return delivery to the store and £50 for disposal.
In Mr Swift-Hook’s to Mrs Cole he said: “In Greenham we have a constant and apparently ever-increasing problem with abandoned shopping trolleys, particularly in The Nightingales.”
“The supermarkets get their trolleys collected and returned free of charge.”
Mr Swift-Hook said that he hoped the council could reach a cross-party agreement on the issue. He said: “I don’t see any reason why we cannot work together to solve this problem.”
A surplus, if collected, could then go towards supporting the Neighbourhood Warden scheme, which operates in many parts of West Berkshire, he suggested.
Mrs Cole said that she was already looking into the matter.
She said: “I am working with my environmental protection team on a programme on environmental crime, which will include issues such as fly tipping and the abandonment of trolleys.
Supermarkets, she said, could do more to stop the problem occurring in the first place, for example, through a deposit scheme, but she claimed that their efforts were hamstrung by some shoppers.
She said: “I have no problem with penalising supermarkets, but I think we can work with them to solve this issue. It is not us against them, it is us and them against the small number of people who abandon the trolleys.”

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