Litter firm issues 120 Torfaen notices
1:30pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
A CONTROVERSIAL private enforcement company operating in Torfaen has issued 120 fixed penalty notices since the beginning of the year.
Torfaen council is using staff from XFOR to clamp down on littering, dog fouling and smoking in public places by issuing fixed penalty notices of £75 and £50.
Cabinet members gave the OK for to a 12-month pilot scheme in October last year, and it came in to operation early January.
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 issues in 2010/11.
Out of the 120 fixed penalty notices issued to date, 90 have been for litter, 29 for smoking in a public place and one notice has been served for dog fouling.
Torfaen’s executive member for housing, planning and public protection, Cllr Gwyneira Clark said: “Littering and dog fouling clearly annoys local residents and we are determined to tackle it.
“Torfaen council receives hundreds of complaints every year about litter, dog mess and other environmental issues.
“We’ve already demonstrated our commitment to keeping our streets clean and free of litter and dog mess and this initiative reenforces this.
“Wehope 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, presented to cabinet 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 target-led.
A survey conducted in 2012 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.
An appeals and complaints procedure will be overseen by council officials.
● Litter and dog fouling incidents receive a £75 fixed penalty notice, while smoking in a public place is £50, which is reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks.