Councillors to decide on future of Environmental Enforcement following WISE pilot

Posted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Councillors at Newark and Sherwood District Council will be recommended to approve the continuation of an externalised environ-crime enforcement approach at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 17 January following a pilot scheme by company Waste Investigations, Support and Enforcement (WISE).

A procurement process to secure the environmental enforcement services of a third-party company will be put forward to Councillors with any agreement seeking to maximise any benefits to the District Council. The agreement must also maintain the activity level currently being achieved with income not the primary focus.

The pilot agreement with WISE will be extended whilst the procurement takes place, to ensure a seamless transition without any service disruption.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “This pilot to prosecute environmental crime has been a useful exercise in identifying some of the potential benefits and some of the shortcomings with such an arrangement. We’ve been impressed with some of the outcomes with 3,713 fixed penalty notices issued since the start of the contract with the majority of these related to cigarette related littering.

“The reason we have pilot schemes is to see if projects like this work before we commit to anything long term.

“Tackling environmental crimes such as littering, dog fouling, and graffiti remains a key priority for us and we are just as committed as ever to tackling environmental crime and keeping the beautiful communities in the district cleaner, safer and greener.”

It is anticipated that the Council will seek a three-year concession contract for the provision of the service. As part of the concession a range of offences will be included as part of the contract including litter and the enforcement of dog control offences including dog fouling through the Public Space Protection Orders within the district. The contractor appointed will issue FPNs (Fixed Penalty Notices) at the time of the offence or as soon as possible after the event where necessary and will collect payments and respond directly to appeals from individuals wishing to appeal to the issuing of any FPN.

The enforcement of environmental offences is a district-wide response and the contractor may be directed to hotspots and is expected to patrol all areas of the District as well as the main urban areas or commercial areas of Newark. They may also be required to tackle littering/dog fouling outside or near known hotspots such as fast-food restaurants and parks.

Any income made from environmental enforcement would be reinvested in environmental related expenditure such as additional litter bins and fly tipping campaigns in accordance to littering legislation.

The Policy and Performance Improvement Committee has requested oversight of the detail for the arrangement with the chosen environment enforcement company following procurement and prior to contracts being entered into. It is on the agenda for Monday 30 January 2022, subject to Cabinet’s approval of this report.