‘Clever working’ urged in a bid to improve impact on litter louts in Barnsley suburbs
A call has been made to review the way suburban littering wardens work, just weeks before a new contract is introduced, because of the scale of the problem in some Barnsley communities.
Barnsley Council has its own enforcement staff but its network of Area Councils, with their own budgets to address important local issues, also employ private patrols in some areas, to catch and fine those responsible for littering and dog fouling.
The Central Area Council, covering five council wards around the town centre, has had a contract with a firm called Kingdom, which comes to an end to be replaced by new firm District from April 1.
In an update on Kingdom’s performance, councillors who represent the area were told the wardens had success in catching those allowing dog fouling, with 20 people each fined £100 over three months – a figure regarded as successful because of the difficulties of finding active offenders.
Coun Roya Pourali, who represents the Worsbrough ward, told colleagues: “Everyone is talking about littering and fly-tipping. Is it not time to think about investing more in that area?
“Don’t you think it is really time to focus a bit more on that, to work a bit more cleverly?”
She suggested using volunteers to work alongside paid wardens as an example of “doing something a bit different”.
Area council chairman Coun Richard Riggs said the issue had been discussed previously, with an agreement reached for the forthcoming contract with District, but Coun Pourali insisted: “I think it is important we look at it again.”
Other councillors suggested increasing numbers of wardens would have little impact on the scale of the littering and dog fouling problem in the area, drawing the conclusion that the new company’s performance should be monitored to assess whether they have a different impact to the results achieved by Kingdom staff.
The meeting was also told they face a hike in the charges paid to Barnsley Council for processing the fines their staff issue.
The process is complex, because the area council pays a private firm for the staff, with Barnsley Council also paid to provide transport, uniforms and the ‘back office’ work to issue fines, a combination regarded as the most cost effective.
But fewer area councils are now employing wardens, with BMBC switching to an automated system for processing fines and that means the area council will need to pay £13,000 a year, rather than the existing £10,000 to cover costs in future.
Councillors agreed to that change.