News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

North Wales’ six local councils considering ‘shared model’ for litter enforcement

North Wales’ six local authorities are considering the possibility of a shared model in a bid to crack down on littering and fly tipping in the region.

In February, Gwynedd Council cut short a planned 12-month trial with controversial private firm Kingdom Security after just two days, blaming the early termination on “operational issues.”

But since then, the region’s other five local authorities have all announced the end of their respective relationships with the company.

The St Helen’s based firm had drawn criticism from residents for the tactics they are alleged to use to issue fines of up to £75 to anyone their officers see littering.

But a report presented to councillors in Gwynedd this morning, confirmed that officers are currently collaborating with neighbouring authorities on a future model that could serve the whole north Wales region.

Although the full details on any such relationship is not yet known, one option could see one model adopted across the north with similar regulations and levels of fines established covering an area from Holyhead to Deeside.

Gwynedd Council’s Streetscene Manager, Peter Simpson, told this morning’s Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting in Caernarfon that negotiations were ongoing with authorities across north Wales.

So far the six authority group has considered enforcement arrangements which could see officers appointed internally or another outside company being brought it, but also the need for awareness raising and shared central back office support.

“We’re looking at different options to present back on what model would best work,” said Mr Simpson.

“The intention is to look at a model that would work for us, and possibly other authorities across the north.

“We’ve all come together since the private company (Kingdom) pulled out of north Wales to discuss the next steps.

“We’ve discussed regional working by sharing resources.

“It appears that some councils are going in different directions, not all authorities are thinking the same way with some favouring an internal model rather than approaching another private company.

“Every authority is scrutinising in their own way and to their own deadlines so there are many discussions ahead but I do envisage some kind of co-working and greater consistency in terms of the level of fines so that everyone knows the score no matter where they are.

“I envisage the discussions will be ongoing for at least a year.”

Steffan Jones added that civil enforcement parking staff in Flintshire and Wrexham already have the powers to impose fines for litter, with Gwynedd now considering adopting a similar model until a longer term arrangement is in place.

“We’ve been in discussions with Anglesey more than any other authority and there’s certainly an appetite to co-operate,” he added.

“Other councils are also looking at this and we have attended meetings.”

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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