Agenda item

Contract Renewal for Litter Enforcement (Decision: 110561)


The Leader introduced the report and stated that following an initial trial period in 2016, the Council had entered into a contract with Kingdom for litter enforcement, and this contract was now due for renewal. He explained that the Council had introduced enforcement notices for issues such as littering, as residents had often raised issue with the amount of litter and dropped cigarette ends in their communities. He added that this problem also looked terrible and cost the Council money. The Leader mentioned that since 2016 when the contract had begun, Thurrock’s Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) scores had continually improved, partly due to the enforcement notices, and also due to the hard work of the street cleaning and highways teams.

The Leader stated that enforcement notices were handed out for offences such as littering, dropping cigarette ends, spitting and other anti-social behaviour, and the Council had kept the maximum level of fine. He stated that the Council averaged 3000 tickets per year, and if people chose not to pay their tickets, Thurrock would take those people to court. He stated that Thurrock had taken approximately 520 people to court last year for failure to pay their enforcement fines. The Leader explained that there was a number of options for contract renewal, which included bringing the service in-house and procuring the contract on the open market. He stated that if the service was brought in-house this could increase risks such as increased staffing cost and recruitment costs. He stated that the current contract did not cost the tax-payer money, as all money raised through enforcement fines paid for the service, and any surplus allowed the team to pursue additional activities, such as late night patrolling of car parks for nitrous oxide users, and late night fly-tipping patrols.

The Leader stated that the Council had received a good service from the current provider, and although enforcement of offences such as littering had been paused during the pandemic, Kingdom officers had continued their work by ensuring local residents were adhering to social distancing measures, and essential shops were COVID compliant. He stated that Kingdom officers also patrolled street drinking in Grays, and had reduced the number of people street drinking since 2019.

Councillor Watkins echoed the Leader’s comments and felt that Kingdom had undertaken good work throughout their contract period. He thanked the street cleaning teams for their hard work across the borough. He stated that Thurrock had undertaken lots of work to ensure there were more bins across in Thurrock that were located in the right places, and urged residents to use these bins. He summarised and thanked the street cleaning team and Kingdom officers for their hard work every day, including during the pandemic.

Councillor Maney supported the recommendations made in the report and felt that the KBT scores, and Thurrock’s Clean It, Cut It, Fill It policies had been one of the biggest success stories. He stated that residents often raised the issue of environmental crime, such as littering, to Councillors and felt it was good to see these issues were being addressed and enforced. The Leader agreed and felt that although it would be difficult to achieve litter-free streets, this was what Thurrock should aim for.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Noted the content contained within the report.

2. Agreed to delegate the authority for the tender and subsequent award of a new contract for Environmental Enforcement Services on a payment by results basis to the Director of Environment, Highways and Counter Fraud in conjunction with the Director of Finance, Governance and Property, and the Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour, based on Option 3 (3.3 of the report) as recommended by Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Reason for decision: as outlined in report.
This decision is subject to call-in.

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