A FORMER solicitor gave Herefordshire Council an ultimatum last Monday as he stepped up his campaign to rid Hereford of litter at a court hearing thought to be the first of its kind.

Michael ‘Kip’ Waistell asked magistrates to adjourn his case against the authority until October as a “last resort” in the hope its rubbish tackling methods could improve.

He then produced a disposable cup he said was left in the city centre for months and said: “I am hoping I won’t have to prosecute but at the moment the place is such a mess and when you see things like this, it makes you want to weep.”

The retired lawyer acted after notices he served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 asking for specific areas to be tidied were apparently ignored.

Defending, Mike Jones admitted Mr Waistell gave the council “distinctly longer” to act than the five days allowed by law but said things needed to be looked at in more detail.

If the complaint stands, magistrates could issue litter picking orders, each being subject to a £2,500 fine and a daily penalty of £125 if breached.

After the hearing, Mr Waistell said environmental charity ENCAMS thought he was the first to challenge a council under the 1990 act.

He believes worst-hit areas discourage visitors and investors.

Herefordshire’s environment and culture director Michael Hainge said he hoped an agreement could be reached by October.

Herefordshire Council and its partners are committed to keeping the county clean and tidy despite the selfish actions of a few who think it is acceptable to drop litter and cause other nuisances in our county,” he said.