- Meeting of Cabinet, Tuesday, 18th December, 2018 9.30 am (Item 279.)
- View the background to item 279.
As detailed in the recommendations, with the following additional recommendation:
(3) That an Enforcement Policy be prepared for Cabinet approval, and that the Policy explores the possibility and implications of giving Enforcement Officers discretion over when and whether to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Councillor Thomas introduced the Environmental Enforcement report which followed the decision of Cabinet in July 2018 that the contractual arrangement in place for environmental enforcement should not be extended beyond December 2018.
However, since August 2018 Kingdom had withdrawn their services from Flintshire and the residual in-house Enforcement Officer team had undertaken all of the enforcement activities in the County.
The report identified four possible options for delivering County-wide enforcement activities, in line with the Council’s approved environmental enforcement policies.
A report had recently been considered at the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee where the preferred option was expressed as Option 2 – ‘an enhanced in-house enforcement provision’ – however, the Committee had recommended that discussions with neighbouring authorities be put on hold to allow the existing arrangement to stabilise following the departure of Kingdom. Informal discussions had taken place with neighbouring authorities which focussed on sharing back office facilities and Enforcement Officers patrolling in designated areas.
Councillor Thomas suggested that the ‘zero tolerance’ referred to in Option 2 should be changed to ‘littering with intent’ and that discretion be given to Enforcement Officers to determine whether dropping of litter had been intentional. If there was no intent then a fine would not need to be issued.
The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) explained that the two vacant Enforcement Officer posts had been filled, taking the team to seven and one supervisor. It was expected that part of the costs for any additional posts would be recovered through the additional revenue generated through issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s).
Councillor Attridge expressed concern on changing the wording from ‘zero tolerance’ to ‘littering with intent’, citing examples of where other forms of zero tolerance applied, such as parking on lines outside schools and dog fouling. The Chief Officer (Governance) commented that by not giving discretion to Enforcement Officers gave them protection as there was no challenge that could be made on the spot. Councillor Shotton suggested that the policy be discussed further and reported back to Cabinet at a future date. This was agreed.
Councillor Bithell said a more relaxed approach was not working and the streets were now not as clean as before. The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) confirmed that the zero tolerance element of the policy was still in force and any examples of parking outside schools and dog fouling would be actioned.
The Chief Officer (Governance) suggested a form of words for a third recommendation, based on the debate that had taken place, of “That an Enforcement Policy be prepared for Cabinet approval, and that the Policy explores the possibility and implications of giving Enforcement Officers discretion over when and whether to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice”. This was supported.
(a) That Option 2 (an enhanced in-house enforcement provision) for the futuredelivery of the environmental and car parking enforcement service within the County be approved. The additional cost of the service to be provided from the additional income raised from Fixed Penalty Notices and potential savings accrued from collaborative working opportunities;
(b) That the request for officers to commence discussions with neighbouring authorities, with the aim of moving towards a collaborative in-house service delivery model, Option 3, be approved; and
(c) That an enforcement policy be prepared for Cabinet approval and that the policy explores the possibility and implications of giving Enforcement Officers discretion over when and whether to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
- Environmental Enforcement, item 279. PDF 80 KB
- Appendix 1 Environmental Enforcement, item 279. PDF 79 KB