Pendle Litter Enforcement Fiasco as Disabled Residents and Mothers with Children Targeted
Liberal Democrat Councillor Tony Greaves has written to senior Pendle
Council staff to ask for explanations in response to a spate of
complaints about high-handed and unfair tactics being used by the new
litter enforcement officers in Pendle. There is also real concern that
the privately employed Enforcement Officers are concentrating on “easy
targets” and not tackling the real problems of litter such as food
wrappers, take-aways, and general litter
Councillor Greaves said: “Pendle Council has contracted with a private
company (District Enforcement Ltd) to employ Enforcement Officers on
litter and dog fouling. This is being paraded by the administration as a
major Conservative Party achievement. But it has resulted in a spate of
complaints about the enforcement officers going for ”easy pickings” such
as fag ends and ignoring the more important items of litter, and dog
There are also a spate of complaints against unfair bullying tactics
being used by the green-uniformed Enforcement Officers, who are believed
to be on a bonus system of payment based on how many fines they hand out.
The fine for dropping litter of any kind is £150 or £80 for payment
within a fortnight.
Following complaints that the Enforcement Officers were operating on
private land., ASDA in Colne have now banned them from their car park.
Councillor Greaves said: “We are all 100% against litter and dog fouling
which are both a curse on modern society. But what is reported to be
going on is not acceptable.”
Examples reported include:
- A ticket for a man loading shopping into the boot of his car and putting a carton next to his car.
- A driver who dropped a paper out of his pocket when getting his car keys out.
- A supermarket receipt left in a trolley.
- Issuing a ticket and causing distress to an elderly man with Downs Syndrome.
- A fine for the parent of a child throwing his lolly out of his pram.
Government advice is clear that fixed penalty fines should only be issued
where there is clear evidence of an intent to deposit litter. The
Enforcement Officers appear to be ignoring this advice.
Pendle’s Liberal Democrat Leader David Whipp said: “The test of all this
is – £50,000 gathered in in fines and are the town centres and streets in
Pendle any cleaner? Is there any less litter? Is there any less dog muck?
The answer is no.”
The latest statistics are worrying. Out of over 1000 fines issued, no
fewer than 996 are cigarette related – fag ends and rolled up cigarettes.
Only seven are food related – yet so much of the litter in our streets
consists of take-away containers, sweet wrappers and packets. Only five
are soft-drink bottles and cans which are a menace. And there are only 11
fines for dog-fouling.
Councillor Greaves added: “Fag ends are a scourge but the really
important litter is just not being tackled. It just seems like a racket
by a private company to extract a lot of money out of Pendle. Around 1000
fines amounts to between £80,000 and £150,000 – all in the first two
months. There must be better ways of tackling the problem.
“Why cannot Pendle Council itself do this work and keep the money
circulating in the local economy? Why cannot education sessions be
organised like those for speeding? This whole scheme has the stench of
yet more Conservative-promoted cowboy capitalism!”