In response to widespread concerns from residents about littering, Torbay Council has enlisted the help of a specialist environmental services company, 3GS, which will be tasked with helping to keep the Bay’s streets, parks and open spaces clean and tidy.
Councillor Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Community Safety, said: “Dealing with litter is a daily battle but one that needs to be fought to make sure that Torbay continues to offer an appealing destination for tourists, for businesses looking to relocate to the area and for our residents. A uniformed presence will show that we are taking the issue seriously.
“The one-year pilot scheme we are running in partnership with 3GS will not burden the council with any additional costs as the officers are employed by 3GS. In addition, they will be supported by their own administrative staff who will process the fines and associated paperwork.
“A cost neutral scheme was a vitally important factor for us when we were looking at options. Keeping the environment clean and tidy for residents is important but with existing resources and ever decreasing budgets, we had to be realistic about what could be achieved.
“Ultimately, we hope that the scheme will act as a reminder to people that they should take personal responsibility for their surroundings. Certainly the threat of being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice should encourage people to think more carefully about how to dispose of their litter.”
The Environmental Compliance Officers will be visible from Tuesday 1 September, but during their first week they will be concentrating on making themselves known to businesses and giving words of advice rather than issuing Fixed Penalty Notices. Officers will cover Torquay, Paignton and Brixham and will work six days a week.
The officers will be able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £80 for littering offences and will also support the existing Dog Wardens where necessary. A Fixed Penalty Notice issued for the offence of dog fouling carries a charge of £75.
Craig Arnold, 3GS’s Regional Operations Director, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Torbay Council and hope to build a lasting relationship with communities and other stakeholders who want to improve their local environment. We also want to reassure residents that whilst our approach to environmental crime is robust, we strongly believe in trying to educate and inform people about the law. Our objective is to help our partners create a positive outcome in the long term.”
More information on Fixed Penalty Notices for littering and dog fouling can be found on the Torbay Council website www.torbay.gov.uk/envirocrime together with some frequently asked questions.