Environmental Enforcement in Flintshire
Flintshire's Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be asked to make a recommendation to Cabinet on the future delivery arrangement for environmental enforcement activities in the County and to review the current performance of the contract with Kingdom Ltd.
The report will outline the approach to all environmental enforcement issues including littering, fly-tipping, side waste enforcement, and the impact this work is having on street cleanliness and other performance indicators.
Littering is a problem that faces every town and community in the country and the cost of street and open space litter collections in Flintshire prior to January 2016 was in excess of £300k per year. In addition to the cost and the visual impact littering has on the environment, there is growing evidence to suggest that it has a much far reaching impact on the local economy and increases other forms of anti-social behaviour.
From January 2016, a zero tolerance policy was adopted by Flintshire County Council for all littering offences. Kingdom were introduced to undertake the enforcement of environmental crime on 4 July 2016 to support the in-house enforcement team, who were maintained to undertake other enforcement activities such as fly tipping investigations and to undertake the enforcement of side waste, which commenced earlier this year. The contract with Kingdom provides enforcement officers to patrol and issue Fixed Penalty Notices to members of the public for littering and dog fouling offences.
Flintshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
"As the temporary arrangement with Kingdom is coming to an end, we need to make a decision on how we proceed and there are a number of options to consider, all of which have benefits and disadvantages. Experience from the town centres has shown that a more robust approach to enforcement has benefited the town centres in terms of cleanliness."
The options are:
1. Advertise and award a single contract for all low level environment enforcement - including car parking. This was the option recommended by Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee in September 2017. The proposal included an independent appeals process to be undertaken by a Senior Officer within the Council.
2. Remove the current arrangement and provide all enforcement activities through the in-house service at the current staffing levels.
3. Extend the in-house provision through recruitment or regional working to provide the same level of coverage as provided by the existing contractor.