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In Manchester, contract officers are to work seven days a week looking to give fines to litter-droppers.
Manchester City Council says anyone who refuses to pay the £80 fine will face being taken before the courts.
The four officers are part of a workforce already employed by NSL, the City Council’s parking contractors, and so the city council points out that the change has not created any extra cost to it. Those officers will, the council reports, cover well-used parts of the city centre where there have been problems with littering, and on duty at busier times such as around the children’s play area on Piccadilly Gardens.
Meanwhile, around 20 PCSOs have received training and will begin handing out litter enforcement notices in the city centre.
Other city council officers and traffic wardens also hand out notices and will continue to do so, but this is the first time in the city a team has been responsible for looking out for people dropping litter.
The council points to more than 600 new litter bins installed in the city centre earlier this year – funded by a £14.5m clean city fund. A campaign has also been launched urging residents and visitors to take responsibility by using the bins and not dropping litter. Advertising slogans have been placed on paving slabs – thought to be a first for a British city – while grants have been provided to community groups who want to organise their own clean-ups.
Bernard Priest, deputy leader of the council, said: “We’ve invested in the city centre by providing these new bins, we’ve communicated with the vast majority of decent people who want to enjoy the city centre and don’t want to see it being used as a rubbish dump – now we’ve got to get tough.
“This crack team have had special training and will get to work looking for those individuals who still think it’s acceptable to drop litter. These litter louts are in the minority but there’s enough of them to have an impact on the city centre, which is very distressing for our residents and the millions of people which visit Manchester every year. From now on, anyone who drops litter can expect a tap on the shoulder and an on the spot fine.”
Meanwhile Kingdom report one-year contracts to provide environmental protection services for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, against dog fouling and littering. The company reports it delivers 130,000 environmental protection hours of work for UK councils. Last month the firm’s officers were patrolling Woking streets, wearing body-worn cameras, issuing fines for litter and dropped cigarettes and taking filmed statements, in a four-week trial. And the company has provided similar ‘street scene’ services to Birmingham City Council for six years, including such issues as graffiti and fly-posting; the firm last month added duty of care visits to restaurants to its enforcement work.