Issue - meetings
(a) That the Committee supports the initiative and recommends to Cabinet that it approves the protocol detailed within the report for low level crimes and the issue of Fixed Penalty Notices for littering and dog control offences.
(b) That the Committee recommends that Cabinet approve the proposal to offer Town and Community Councils the opportunity to support additional Enforcement Officers in their own areas.
Prior to consideration of the report on Environmental Enforcement the Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) distributed a supplementary note to the Committee on income from Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs).
The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced a report to review the Council’s Enforcement Policy in respect of littering. He provided background information and advised that following a recent review of the Council’s Environment Enforcement Service, the Council’s own Enforcement Officers had resumed responsibility for the enforcement of all low level environmental crimes (citing littering and dog fouling as examples). He continued that the Cabinet had requested a refresh of the protocol for issuing FPNs and particularly the zero tolerance approach previously adopted by the Council’s enforcement teams which had been strictly implemented across the County. The Chief Officer advised that the report provided clarity on the approach to enforcement activities in the future and invited the Regulatory Services Manager to present the report.
The Regulatory Services Manager reported on the key considerations, as detailed in the report. She referred to the procedures for issuing a FPN where an Enforcement Officer had reason to believe a person had committed an offence and there was sufficient and appropriate evidence to support a prosecution in court should the FPN go unpaid. She explained that accidental littering would not be dealt with by means of a FPN. Referring to dog control the Regulatory Services Manager explained that dog control patrols continued to take place in public areas, including areas subject to a Public Open Space Order (PSPO), which included officers undertaking plain clothes patrols.
The Regulatory Services Manager advised that Flintshire County Council’s Enforcement Officers were responsible for patrolling across all areas of the County to ensure all wards received a reasonable and appropriate level of enforcement presence, however, a daily presence in all areas could not be guaranteed. She continued that during a meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 November 2018, a recommendation was put forward that consideration should be given for Town and Community Council’s to fund additional Enforcement Officers within their areas. The Regulatory Services Manager reported that to assess the level of interest in the proposal the Council would contact all Town and Community Councils and offer the opportunity to fund additional Officer time in their areas at an agreed daily rate which would take into account that all revenue generated through the Penalty Charge Notices would be retained by the County Council. Following the approach to Town and Community Councils an exercise would take place to determine the sustainability of a scheme and consideration as to whether the project could be implemented with existing staffing numbers or whether additional Officers would need to be recruited.
Councillor Andy Dunbobbin referred to the supplementary information which had been circulated to the Committee at the meeting and expressed concerns regarding the reference to an income target of £20k per annum, which equated to 266 FPNs per year. He acknowledged the need to enforce action against low level ... view the full minutes text for item 59