Plans to ban spitting hang in the balance after a Government minister said he needed “more persuasion” to make it law.

Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, told the Enfield Independent today that banning spitting in the borough would be hard to enforce and more work is needed if it is ever to become law.

Enfield Borough Council is trying to make spitting illegal after more than 4,000 signatures were collected last year calling for the authority to put a stop to the unsightly habit.

If passed, fines of up to £80 could be dished out to any offender caught spitting in the borough's streets.

Mr Pickles said: “It is a big thing. I suppose the thing that the Government has to consider is enforcement.”

The Conservative politician said that if a person was “so antisocial” to spit in the street, unless there is a serious concern of being caught, they would continue to do so.

However, he admitted spitting is “disgusting thing to do” and said he would make further enquiries into the proposed ban.

If the byelaw is passed, Enfield would be the the first local authority in England to ban spitting in public.

Councillor Chris Bond is campaigning for the ban to be passed in Enfield.

He believes council officers could enforce the law and dish out fixed penalty notices to people caught spitting and dropping litter.

Officers could be given cameras to prove an offence has been committed.

Cllr Bond told the Enfield Independent in October he was “disappointed” when the Department for Communities and Local Government said the council would need to provide more evidence before the law could be considered.