Supermarkets could be hit with 'fines' over abandoned trolleys being left across Basildon.

Basildon Council are to step in and take additional action in a bid to reduce levels of abandoned shopping trolleys in the borough.

At a meeting of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee last night (Wednesday January 20), councillors agreed for a letter signed by the chairman and the council's chief executive to be sent to supermarkets asking them to take more action in retrieving abandoned trolleys.

The letter will set out that if improvement is not seen, Basildon Council will enact the powers adopted under Section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) - to remove, store and dispose of shopping trolleys found within the borough, with removal and storage charges being met by the supermarket which owns them.

This would be done on a three-month trial basis including fees and charges to recharge supermarkets for the costs incurred, subject to a period of consultation with supermarkets.

Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, Councillor David Harrison said: "We have a significant problem with the number of abandoned shopping trolleys in the borough. We need the supermarkets to stop this happening. It is their responsibility to remove them not the council’s.

"Discarded shopping trolleys undermine the great work that our cleansing staff, and residents do to keep our streets clean.

"People should not take shopping trolleys home with them - taking them away from the stores has a real impact on our neighbourhoods and open spaces."