ANGRY residents want Southend Council to fine hospital staff for dropping cigarette butts near their homes.

Trevor Murray, of Hillborough Road, said he has watched the litter build up over the years - and enough’s enough.

He said: “It’s not just outside my stretch of road, but across all the roads around the hospital. Recently I have just been trudging through the cigarettes but nothing is done about it. No one is fined.”

Southend Hospital has a no smoking policy on its grounds, which often leaves those workers who smoke the options of either stopping or resorting to nearby roads.

Mr Murray, 78, claims it has become a health hazard.

He said: “I can actually smell it. I think the hospital has got a big problem. A lot of their staff smoke.”

Councillor Mark Flewitt, cabinet member for public protection, said: “We have been made aware of an increase in cigarettes being littered outside Southend Hospital.

“Whilst we can issue fixed penalty notices to individuals in some situations, we cannot fine organisations for the actions of their employees in regards to littering.

“We would like to remind residents and visitors to dispose of cigarettes accordingly in appropriate cigarette bins.”

Yvonne Blücher, managing director of Southend Hospital, said: “We have been made aware of issues with staff littering cigarette butts off of the hospital site.

“The trust maintains a no smoking policy on site. We have increased our no smoking signs in key areas and introduced a tannoy system to remind people that we are a no smoking site.

“Whilst we can’t stop our staff smoking off site, they do have an obligation to dispose of their own rubbish responsibly. Although there are already lots of litter bins with ashtrays at the entrances to our hospital site, we are looking to manage the problem better. One thing we will be doing is cleaning in those off site areas.”