Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Contact: Lynn Cain Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and/or Non-Registrable Interests
No declarations of interest were made.
that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 20 October 2022, be received and approved as a correct record.
The Scrutiny Research Officer introduced the report and reminded the Panel that the ‘Dog Fouling and Littering’ review had commenced in June 2022 with two meetings already being held to consider the topic. The last meeting had been particularly fruitful with Members having the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session with the Council’s Director of Place and Communities, the Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods and Environment, the Executive Lead Member for Community Safety and the Executive Lead Member for Parks, Town Centres, and Environmental Services.
The question and answer session had raised many key lines of enquiry that the Panel could investigate further, but it was acknowledged that the March 2023 meeting of the Panel would be the last before the District Council Elections in May 2023 and Members might wish to consider finalising the review now based on the evidence already provided.
The Panel was aware that officers were currently working on options for providing a replacement environmental enforcement service following completion of the WISE pilot scheme and this evaluation was being carried out alongside service reviews of both the Waste and Community Protection Teams.
Members were presented with some statistics/data in respect of reported incidents of dog fouling and littering including various heatmaps outlining hotspot areas. The information also outlined the number of patrolling hours undertaken by WISE and the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued during the 12 month scheme.
The Panel then took the opportunity to reflect on some of the Council’s initiatives already in place for tackling dog fouling and littering as follows:
· continuing to promote Keep Britain Tidy initiatives
· provision of an effective network of bins in known dog walking areas and dog fouling hot-spots including educational bin wraps
· educational stencilling on pavements
· provision of a 24-hour web portal to enable residents to easily report
· incidences of littering and dog fouling
· provision of dog bags within all the Council’s parks and open spaces
· annual ‘Spring Clean’ campaigns across the District
· working with food outlets to keep their premises and curtilages free from litter
· facilitating regular litter picks with Council volunteers across the District
· provision of detailed information on the Council’s website regarding the issue of fixed penalty notices for a number of offences, which include, amongst other things, dog fouling and littering.
A discussion followed and Members raised the following comments and suggestions:
· concerns surrounding some of the methods adopted by WISE employees (hiding behind bushes etc.) and its impact on the Council’s reputation
· acknowledgement that although some tactics seemed harsh, the perpetrators of littering/dog fouling were still being caught and correctly fined
· a suggestion to inform Ashfield residents more regularly of times and whereabouts of the Council’s street cleaning vehicles to raise awareness and visibility
· the pros and cons of commissioning external enforcement contractors to patrol the District and issue FPNs as required
· a reminder that Members had expressed concerns previously that the Council were issuing too few FPNs and to accept that the WISE pilot scheme had delivered ... view the full minutes text for item SB.10