Agenda item

Litter and Fly Tipping


(a)       That the actions of Streetscene in dealing with littering and fly tipping events be noted; and


(b)       That officers explore whether the Council could be granted powers for enforcement of litter caused by alcohol consumption in public places.


The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) introduced a report on the impact of littering and fly tipping events during the emergency situation, as requested by the Committee.  The report also included the agreed performance standards and enforcement responses.


In presenting the report, the Regulatory Services Manager referred to the impact of the emergency situation on the amount of waste collected from routine street cleansing and reported littering.  Whilst the Council could investigate fly tipping, it was unable to remove waste from privately owned land.  Information was also shared on enforcement and the focus on educating members of the public.  Although less Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued due to the emergency situation, proactive enforcement work continued with a number of fly tipping cases currently being progressed and various initiatives underway including partnership working.


The Chief Officer provided information on the Caru Cymru initiative across Wales to encourage collective community action to minimise environmental waste.  Fly tipping was a widespread issue with research analysis suggesting an increase of around 300% across the UK and was due to a range of factors.


The Chair suggested that a twice-yearly market stall could help to raise awareness of the team’s activities.


Councillor Paul Shotton asked about the provision of additional public litter bins and was informed that sites were assessed against criteria and that Members were able to contact their area co-ordinators with suggested locations.  The challenges in addressing fly tipping on private land would be raised at the next general enforcement all-Wales meeting to establish if any support was available from Welsh Government.  A separate response would be provided to Councillor Shotton on parking provision outside Wepre Park.


As suggested by the Chief Executive, officers agreed to circulate the waste bin location criteria to Members and Town/Community Council Clerks and consider a forward plan of approved requests for bins with deadlines for incoming requests to help manage orders.


Councillor David Evans commented on the data which was generated by reported incidents being recorded on the system, which officers confirmed included those from litter-picking groups.  Steps would be taken to ensure that cases referred directly to area coordinators by elected Members were also included.  The Chief Officer responded to comments on the collection of supermarket trolleys by cleansing teams and said that the team could consider ways of engaging with supermarkets to reduce such instances.


Councillor Evans asked about the potential for the Council to be given powers to enforce against littering from people drinking alcohol in public places which was a growing problem in some areas.  The Chief Executive said that options could be explored, noting that legal advice would need to be sought on whether these powers currently with the Police could be extended to Councils.  Councillor Evans proposed this as an additional recommendation and was seconded by Councillor Sean Bibby.


Following concerns raised by Councillor George Hardcastle about gully emptying, officers provided information on fleet provider arrangements and the teams responsible for waste collection and enforcement.  The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) agreed to share details of costs incurred for dealing with stray dogs.


In response to comments from Councillor Andy Hughes, explanation was given on engagement with members of the public and school pupils to influence behaviour, and the reasons for changes in the number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued since 2018-19.


Councillor Dennis Hutchinson raised concerns about the impact of blocked gullies and grids in areas prone to flooding.  The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) said that frequency of gully emptying within the agreed standards was regularly reviewed and that hotspot areas were inspected more regularly.  She would contact Councillor Hutchinson outside the meeting regarding ward issues.


The Chief Executive said that officer capacity to deal with flooding hotspots was under review and that any additional resources allocated would result in a further budget pressure for the Council.


In praising Streetscene teams for their work, Councillor Joe Johnson supported the suggestion for a market stall and said that additional waste bins along the coastal path would be useful.


Councillor Ian Roberts spoke in support of public education campaigns to highlight social responsibility and thanked the many litter-picking activities taking place across the County.


Councillor Glyn Banks thanked officers for the report and the education campaign, suggesting that a future increase in fines could be considered.  He asked that Members refer any specific issues directly to the area supervisors.


The recommendations, as amended, were moved and seconded by Councillors David Evans and Sean Bibby.




(a)       That the actions of Streetscene in dealing with littering and fly tipping events be noted; and


(b)       That officers explore whether the Council could be granted powers for enforcement of litter caused by alcohol consumption in public places.

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