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17.04.19

Flintshire council takes over litter enforcement services from controversial Kingdom

Flintshire County Council has taken over litter enforcement services in the county and urged residents to “take responsibility” over waste after it cut ties with the controversy-hit Kingdom Services.

The waste disposal enforcement firm’s staff have been accused of “underhand and aggressive tactics” in its enforcement campaign in Flintshire and in the Wirral where the council suspended then terminated its contract.

Flintshire County Council will now hand out fines of up to £75 for littering and dog fouling, and at a council meeting to discuss the guidelines around the fines councillors urged local residents to “take responsibility” for their actions to reduce the amount of litter on the county’s streets.

The authority will now have seven officers responsible for tackling litter hot spots and handing out fixed penalty notices.

Cabinet members said they would take on board the previous criticisms of Kingdom, and seek to strike a balance between education and punishment.

Derek Butler, cabinet member for economic development, said: “I think we’ve gone through a period where people’s perceptions are that they can drop things and expect the council to pick it up.

“Not just in Flintshire but nationally there seems to be this mentality. People actually need to be responsible for their own communities. Flintshire people need to be citizens and behave as citizens.”

Under the new service, community and town councils will also be given the ability to fund officers to spend time in their own area, with staff working flexible and varied shifts to target those who do not clean up after their pets.

The council’s cabinet approved the new protocol, but some councillors raised fears that the new measures are not strict enough.

Councillor Chris Bithell said: “I have great concerns about this change in policy and procedure which we’re now adopting.

“Derek was talking about moving on. Well this feels like we’re moving back. We’ve operated the service before in the past and it was not successful.

“I’ve got concerns that we’re going to have seven operatives in the county when we’ve got eight towns, and that’s saying nothing of the villages who deserve a service too.”

It is expected that £20,000 will be generated in income for the council each year under the new service.

Image credit - Aleksandrs Goldobenkovs

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