A blitz on chewing gum louts is to be launched to clear the sticky streets of Brighton and Hove.

Posters will be put up across the city this summer to warn litterbugs to bin their gum or face action.

The notices will go up in August and September after Brighton and Hove City Council was granted funding yesterday for the campaign to raise awareness about the nuisance of discarded gum.

The city is one of 16 local authorities across the country which will receive paid-for advertising from the Government-linked Chewing Gum Action Group.

It is hoped the campaign will reduce the thousands of pounds of council taxpayers spend each year on cleaning up gum stains.

When a similar campaign was launched in Horsham last year the amount of chewing gum dropped by litter louts fell by seven per cent.

Adverts were plastered on buses, at bus stops and on banners in the town centre and council staff wore t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Thanks for binning your gum when you're done".

A van carrying advertising billboards was driven around the town and thousands of "wrap-its" - paper for people to use to dispose of their gum - were handed out.

On average, the amount of discarded gum fell by 37 per cent across participating areas.

Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Local Environment Quality, commenting on yesterday's announcement, said: "I congratulate the successful local authorities and I hope they will make the most of the opportunity this campaign offers to change behaviour by tackling irresponsible disposal of chewing gum in their areas.

"Irresponsible dropping of chewing gum on pavements is an incredibly antisocial activity that blights our public spaces and that can be very expensive and time consuming for those that have to clear up the mess."

Dropping litter - including chewing gum - is punishable by a maximum fine of £2,500 under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

First-time offenders may be asked to pay a fixed penalty notice - ranging from £50 to £80 - as an alternative.

The Local Environmental Quality Survey of England found chewing gum stains in 96 per cent of primary retail and commercial sites.

Some local authorities are believed to spend up to £200,000 per year cleaning it up.