Plans to extend litter busting enforcement scheme in Wyre until next year

A crackdown on litter louts and irresponsible dog owners in Wyre could be extended for yet another year.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:58 am
The enforcement scheme in Wyre looks set to be extended until March 2022

Private firm District Enforcement Ltd was first contracted by Wyre Council in October 2018 for a 12-month trial period and the scheme has since been extended twice.

The contract is due to expire this month and on Thursday Wyre is to consider a further extension until March 2022.

Figures last year show that more than 456 fixed penalty notices were handed out in Wyre by the firm’s enforcement officers from July 1 up to October 14.

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There were 403 fines for littering, and 53 for dog-related public space protection order (PSPO) offences, 41 of these for walking or exercising their dog in an exclusion zone.

After the scheme was first introduced in 2018, the number of people fined radically increased.

People caught littering or allowing their dog to foul have to pay £100.

In its first three months, between October 2018 and January 2019, a total of 1,319 notices were issued – including dozens for dog fouling.

In contrast, the authority gave out just four dog fouling fines in 14 months before the District Enforcement was contracted.

But the council is still keen to gauge the scheme’s ongoing effectiveness after the lockdown restricted activities for several months last year.

Papers prepared for this week’s meeting stated: “Although the council has campaigned, educated and enforced both on littering and dog fouling, it continues to be a concern for communities as reflected through the Life in Wyre surveys.

“The emphasis remains on retaining an active and effective enforcement approach alongside engagement to encourage a culture change which reduces these types of anti-social behaviour in Wyre.

“Since the introduction of the pilot with District Enforcement it has been recognised that the work they undertake on Wyre’s behalf has complemented the services already delivered by the council’s in-house Environmental Enforcement Officers (EEO) and given them greater capacity to undertake a wider community liaison role.”

The council enlisted the services of District Enforcement after a public consultation established that dog fouling and littering were high on the list of concerns of residents, particularly the more heavily populated areas of Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Thornton and Poulton.

The enforcement service does not cost the council anything but Wyre gets just 12.5 per cent of revenue raised, with the rest going to District Enforcement.

However, the money the council; does receive would be reinvested to support environmental projects based in Wyre.