Private company to target dog fouling and litter in Torfaen pilot scheme
12:20pm Thursday 3rd January 2013 in News
A CONTROVERSIAL private enforcement company is now being used in Torfaen to clamp down on littering and dog fouling in the borough.
Torfaen Council is using staff from XFOR to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £75 and £50, as part of a 12-month pilot scheme, after Cabinet members gave the go-ahead in October.
The 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 given out only 38 fixed penalty notices for these kind of issues in 2010/11.
Leader of the council Cllr Bob Wellington said: “We hope this trial partnership with XFOR sends out the message loud and clear – we will not tolerate people littering or not clearing up after their dogs.”
A report, which was presented to Cabinet members in October, 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 targetled.
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 have 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 sixmonth review to see how it works with the council’s needs.
The council says there will also be an appeals and complaints procedure, overseen by council officials.
A survey conducted last 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.