Tougher tactics are being employed to curb dog fouling and littering in Burnley.
Councillors have agreed to team up with a private partner to strengthen its enforcement work further and crack down even more on environmental crime.
Kingdom Environmental Enforcement Services will now carry out enforcement work on behalf of the council, issuing on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notices to offenders caught dropping litter and chewing gum, failing to clean up after their dog, and street begging.
Kingdom staff will carry out patrols and identify “hot spot” areas, issue fines and pursue anyone who fails to pay their Fixed Penalty Notice.
The council’s Executive has given the go ahead for a 12-month pilot scheme which is expected to start in April. The scheme is self-financing with the costs of enforcement being met from the income from Fixed Penalty Notices.
Council Streetscene officers will also continue to carry out enforcement work.
The council already takes a zero tolerance approach to the issues and is already one of the best performing local authorities in the country when it comes to prosecuting fly-tippers.
However, in a recent survey conducted through the council, litter and dog fouling were still named as the borough’s biggest problems by fed-up residents.
And Coun. Lian Pate, Executive member for community services, said the time has now come for a tougher approach.
“Burnley Council means business when it comes to tackling environmental crime. Our residents are fed up with the selfish minority who spoil our neighbourhoods for everyone.
“Time and again people tell us that rubbish and dog fouling are important concerns for them. Anyone who drops litter and chewing gum or doesn’t clean up after their dog should face the prospect of having to pay a £75 fine.
“Burnley Council has taken a tough approach to this kind of anti-social behaviour for years. Most people are proud of their town and want to keep it clean and tidy. However, despite years of trying to work with people to tackle these problems there are still some who persist in dropping litter or not cleaning up after their dog. It’s now time to take an even tougher approach.”
A Kingdom spokesman said: “Kingdom is delighted to be working in partnership with Burnley Council in its efforts to keep the town clean and tidy.
“The teams we deploy are very experienced, and trained to the highest standards. Our track record is reflective of our consistent level of excellence.
“Those who continue to drop litter - including cigarette butts and chewing gum – or do not pick up dog foul are at real risk of receiving a fixed penalty notice as we work with Burnley Council to tackle such offences.”