A COUNCIL is seeking Government approval to become the first area in Britain to ban spitting in public.
Enfield Borough Council in north London has submitted a request to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to approve a new bye-law, after its plan to prohibit spitting won overwhelming public support.
More than 3,000 residents signed a petition in favour of a ban while just four raised objections during a consultation period.
If Mr Pickles gives the thumbs-up, the council aims to have the ban in place within a month.
Council enforcement officers would be empowered to hand out fixed penalty notices – expected to be around £80 – to anyone caught spitting.
Those refusing to pay could face prosecution and a potential fine of up to £5,000.
Although the borough’s CCTV cameras would not be used to detect incidents of spitting, it is thought that film could be brought in evidence in any court cases.
Enfield councillor Chris Bond, environment member of the council’s cabinet, said: “Spitting is a truly disgusting habit and the vast majority of people are in favour of us banning it.
Local Government Minister Bob Neill said: “Spitting in a public place is an anti-social, unpleasant and unhealthy practice.
“Any bye-law application will be considered on a case-by-case basis, on its merits.”