SOUTH Lanarkshire Council have pledged to crack down on people who litter roads surrounding Hairmyres Hospital with cigarette butts.
The News was contacted by EK West Councillor David Watson, who claims the amount of cigarette ends littering Eaglesham Road is worse than ever.
He has also written to health chiefs, expressing his concern in the hope that action can be taken.
He said this week: “Smokers from the hospital, both staff and visitors, gather on Eaglesham Road outside the hospital grounds.
“There are a couple of bins that I understand were put in place by the hospital but they appear never to be emptied and the ground is littered with cigarette ends.
“After raising this issue, I have noticed that some of the cigarette ends have been swept into the gutter on to the road rather than them being picked up.
“The unsightly mess being left by smokers would be unacceptable anywhere but it is particularly unacceptable outside a hospital.
“The hospital has a responsibility to ensure this area is kept clean and tidy and that staff act in a responsible manner when going out of the grounds to smoke. Visitors should also be encouraged to dispose of their cigarette ends appropriately.”
A spokeswoman for South Lanarkshire Council, who are responsible for the area outside the hospital grounds, said: “We will look into this matter and initiate a clean-up of the area. Enforcement officers will also target this location and issue fixed penalty notices to anyone seen dropping litter.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Lanarkshire added: “We are committed to reducing the serious health risk posed by smoking to patients, members of the public and staff and as a result took the decision to ban smoking on all hospital grounds.
“We would like to thank those who observe the policy and remind people who choose to smoke outwith the hospital grounds to dispose of their cigarettes appropriately. We do regularly clear our grounds and bins are emptied twice a week.
“Smoking is the biggest single preventable cause of ill health and early death in Lanarkshire. Anyone who would like advice on quitting smoking can contact their local stop smoking service on 08452 177707 or text “Advice” to 81066.”
l What do you think about the amount of cigarette ends littering the area surrounding the hospital? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org