BLAENAU Gwent Council is to consider increasing fixed penalty notices for littering and dog waste from £75 to £125.
At a meeting of the executive scheduled for April 2, councillors are to discuss and either grant or deny approval to increase the fines for fixed penalty notices for litter and dog control order offences in Blaenau Gwent.
A report which will be presented to councillors recommends fixed penalty fines for Litter and Dog Control Order Offences should be increased to £125 (and £100 for early payment within 14 days) from Monday April 14. The current fine is £75 (or £50 if the penalty is paid within 14 days of issue).
The council recently appointed Price Waterhouse Cooper to review cost recovery opportunities for services and the Litter and Dog Control Order Enforcement Service was reviewed. Modelling undertaken by PWC has shown that the price increase has the potential to generate an additional £76,117, and as a result, an additional £76,177 in income was inserted into the 2014/15 Revenue Budget that was approved by full council on March 7.
But some residents think the price hike could hit the most vulnerable members of society.
Julian Price, 48, from Blaina, is a ward clerk at an elderly psychiatric unit. He regularly walks his dog Sandy, a Labrador, and believes the price hike will unfairly hit the most helpless.
He said: “They seem to be clamping down on almost every place there is to walk your dog. I know people who have been fined even when there wasn’t a sign to say it wasn’t allowed.
“It’s quite sneaky and it’s a lot of money, especially for people who do not work. I work in mental health care and I know a lot of people who have been fined, who aren't in work and may not even realise they could be at risk of being fined.
"But they don’t seem to take that into account and are taking off people who don’t have anything.
“It’s little things with this council. First the toilets, then the street lighting, now this. But the little things add up. People are definitely feeling the squeeze.”