Mayor stubs out the rumours

Chorley Mayor Terry Brown is fuming over accusations he throws his cigarette butts on the street.

The regular smoker has hit back after an anonymous letter was sent to the Guardian suggesting the long-standing councillor discarded his cigarette ends on the pavement outside the town hall during a social event last weekend.

The reader claims he was horrified when he found the street 'covered with cigarette butts' just hours after spotting the Labour politician puffing away with a group of associates during a dinner celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the TA.

However, Coun Brown, who has represented Chorley East for the past 19 years, has denied the accusations and claims he always stubs out his used butts in a portable ashtray, which he carries in his pocket.

He said: "I don't really know what to say. As a councillor I am very involved in projects to keep the streets of Chorley as clean as possible and I'm a staunch supporter of the council's crackdown on people who throw their cigarette butts.

"I always carry a potable ashtray so I have no excuse but to get rid of them properly. I would never throw my cigarettes on the floor."

Since the smoking ban was implemented, there has been an increase in cigarette stubs, particularly around pubs, bars and takeaways, in and around Chorley town centre.

Earlier this year, the council launched a crackdown on litter bugs and more than 100 warnings were issued to people. Anyone found breaking the rules could be hit with a 75 fine.

Last month, the council handed out pocket-sized ashtrays - called a boodi - in a bid to encourage people to dispose their cigarettes responsibly.

Coun Brown, who has smoked for more than 20 years, said: "I keep a boodi in my suit pocket at all times - I never leave the house without one."