TEENAGERS should be made to pay parking and litter fines once a new enforcement service is introduced in Torfaen, councillors have said.

Officers would enforce civil parking, litter and dog fouling offences in the county borough under proposals being considered by the council.

Fines for parking and littering can cost up to £70 or £150 respectively but fines are not currently issued to anyone between the ages of 13 and 17.

South Wales Argus:

But the safer communities overview and scrutiny committee has called for fines of £10 to be introduced for offenders within that age group, alongside improved engagement with youth groups.

“We live in a nanny state and the only way for people to learn not to drop litter is to enforce it with fines,” said Labour councillor Dave Thomas.

“If my 13-year old drops litter and brings me a ticket home, he’s in big trouble.”

READ MORE: Councils across Gwent set to assume control of parking enforcement and target 'key hotspots'

The particular age group are a “pain in the bottom”, argued Labour councillor Stuart Ashley, and better education on environmental issues was needed.

Independent councillor Elizabeth Haynes suggested the £10 fine was more sensible as it could easily come out of the child’s pocket money.

But Labour councillor Fay Jones urged caution, saying: “As a council we should be protecting those under the age of 18.

“You do get the odd family that’s at breaking point. If that child comes home [with a ticket] then they could take it out on them.”

While all Gwent authorities are preparing to take over civil parking duties from Gwent Police, only Torfaen is considering a joined-up enforcement team.

South Wales Argus: Torfaen council's offices in PontypoolTorfaen council's offices in Pontypool

Officers would enforce ‘signs and lines’ traffic offences, as well as littering, dog fouling, dog exclusion zones and lead only areas.

But concerns were raised about the £160,000 needed to set up the new enforcement team, which could include up to seven officers.

Money raised from fines would be used to offset these costs, but Cllr Thomas said it showed ‘no ambition’ to make profits that could be reinvested.

“If it were me, I’d be making damn sure [the service] would be making money,” he said.

But Stephen Jarrett, assistant chief officer for highways, said the authority would not be complying with Welsh Government guidelines if it set out to make money.

The meeting heard that if income exceeded expectations, any surplus would be reinvested back into the roads budget.