Council looks set to bin controversial litter enforcement firm Kingdom by end of the year
Moves to end Flintshire County Council’s contract with controversial litter enforcement firm Kingdom is expected to be given the green light at a Cabinet meeting next week.
The Cabinet will be asked to support the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s recommendation that the current trial arrangement with Kingdom for the provision of low-level environment enforcement should end on 31 December 2018.
Councillors voted in favour of ditching the enforcement firm in favour of bringing the service back in-house in June.
Kingdom was introduced to carry out the council’s ‘zero tolerance’ litter policy, it provided bodycam wearing enforcement officers to patrol the county’s towns and streets issuing £75 fines to members of the public for littering and dog fouling offences.
The company is contracted to provide four enforcement officers and one team leader, currently, there are just two officers and a team leader in Flintshire.
Figures presented at a meeting last month revealed that in the two year since Kingdom was introduced its officers have dished out nearly £530,000 in fines to people dropping cigarette related litter.
Cabinet members will also be asked to agree that they will review a sustainable delivery model for the service prior to the end of the current arrangement in a further report which will be received in September.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
“Despite the fact that the vast majority of fixed penalty notices have been paid and uncontested, there has been a number of high profile cases recently where the circumstances behind the issuing of tickets has been contentious.
These small number of cases are undermining the reputation of both the company and the Authority and the arrangement is being seen as ‘heavy-handed’ by many people.
A number of Town Councils have also requested that Kingdom are not employed on enforcement activities in their own areas.”
It is recommended that the current arrangement with Kingdom is not extended and that Council officers once again review the options available for future sustainable service delivery models.
This will include a formal contract and a regional or sub-regional delivery model with the potential for a ‘Teckal’ type organisation which would provide the service on behalf of the Council or the wider region.
During the interim notice period the zero-tolerance approach to enforcement will also be reviewed.
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