XFor officers will fine people guilty of letting their dogs foul or littering in Torfaen as part of a pilot scheme
A CONTROVERSIAL private enforcement company will be used in Torfaen to clamp down on littering and dog fouling in the borough.
Torfaen Council will be using staff from XFOR to issue Fixed Penalty Notices, as part of a 12-month pilot scheme, after Cabinet members gave the go ahead last week (Tuesday, October 23).
The local authority said it receives hundreds of complaints concerning litter, dog mess and smoking in public places each year and has a "limited level of enforcement" having giving out only 38 fixed penalty notices for these kind of issues in 2010/11.
A report recognised the risks of the scheme could also be reputational, as well as financial, after a consultation showed people were concerned about private enforcement being target led.
Blaenau Gwent, which already uses XFOR, has issued more Fixed Penalty Notices in the last year than the rest of the Welsh authorities combined but only 50 per cent of the fines issued had been paid.
Head of food, health and safety enforcement for Torfaen, Alison Hughes said: "The scheme offers an alternative solution to make a real difference to the people of Torfaen."
She recommended it be introduced for a pilot period of 12 months, with a six month review to see how it works with the council’s needs.
A survey earlier this year by Keep Wales Tidy on street cleanliness showed Torfaen was slightly worse than the Welsh average and it was a similar picture for cigarette waste.
If such a scheme begins, two full time XFOR workers would target areas where complaints are highest and a team leader and admin worker from XFOR would also be used and based at offices in New Inn.
The service would operate seven days a week and XFOR would be paid £45 directly for each Fixed Penalty Notice they serve with some money kept by the council to cover any costs.
The XFOR team will be overseen by the council, and an appeals and complaints procedure will be in place.
The report presented to the cabinet said a small loss to the council would be likely but that it would still remain cost effective when compared to using council officers to serve the notices.
The scheme is expected to start early next year.