Blaenau Gwent litter and fouling teams a 'great success'
12:40pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
A SCHEME to clamp down on littering and dog fouling in Blaenau Gwent has been a success, according to the council which introduced it.
Blaenau Gwent council started the pilot last October, using private enforcement firm XFOR to issue fixed penalty notices.
This included two workers patrolling the borough’s streets on quad bikes to deal with dog fouling.
XFOR continues to March, when the council will go through a tendering process so it can run the scheme for three more years.
It has cost the council £33,134 for the first ten months. It would have cost almost £60,000 more if it had provided the staff directly.
The council introduced the scheme after receiving around 415 complaints about dog fouling and more than 1,106 complaints about littering during 2010/11.
XFOR staff patrolled the borough and issued 2,127 fixed penalty notices for littering and dog control offences between October 3, 2011 and July 31, 2012.
This is almost as high as the 2,351 notices issued across all Wales in 2010/11.
An executive committee meeting yesterday heard that the scheme is being followed by other authorities such as the Vale of Glamorgan.
The initiative has seen 113 cases of non-payment in Blaenau Gwent successfully prosecuted, with fines ranging from £100 to £400.
The council said it has only received 34 complaints which needed full investigation, following the issuing of fixed penalty notices.
A survey by Keep Wales Tidy saw Blaenau Gwent’s level of cleanliness move from 65.4, the bottom of the table for Wales in 2010/11, to 67.1.
A report by the council’s environment and regeneration team said the borough has consistently been at the bottom of the cleanliness league. This improvement, which would have taken it five places higher up the table, is down to the success of the XFOR scheme.
It also said the number of complaints about litter has dropped by 61 per cent but complaints about dog fouling have increased by 31 per cent, particularly in the Abertillery and Ebbw Vale North areas, leading to more XFOR patrols in these locations.