ENFORCEMENT firm 3GS has given out more than 1,200 fines in the Vale of Glamorgan – including for offences such as spitting and unauthorised fishing and camping.
Vale of Glamorgan Council is set to review the contract for 3GS, which runs out in October, as it looks to develop a new centralised enforcement service. Fines for littering, graffiti and dog fouling will rise from £75 to £100 in April.
A new fine of £400 for small scale fly tipping would be introduced and penalties for offences for waste receptacles and litter control notices would increase from £100 to £150, under plans put forward by the council’s cabinet. Over the last 12 months the firm has given out 1,241 fixed penalty notices in the Vale.
Most of the fines – 691 – were for general littering, but the next most common offences was dropping cigarettes – which had 209 fines. Four of the fines were for spitting, while another four were handed out for breaking by laws in Rhoose which ban fishing and camping.
A further seven related to dog fouling, nine for dogs off leads and 12 for walking dogs where they are banned.
Commercial waste was linked to 171 of the fines.
A total of 781 of the fines handed out by 3GS are listed in a council report as ‘awaiting prosecution’ – which means they have not been paid within the allotted time and the firm is considering whether to drop the fines or take them to court. Most of these fines awaiting prosecution- 552 – related to general litter, 71 to dropped cigarette, 60 to commercial waste, while one related to prohibited fishing in Rhoose.
Vale of Glamorgan Council is now looking to review the contract of 3GS, which runs out in October, as part of a move to bring enforcement services back in house.
The council currently provides enforcement services for both environmental and civil parking enforcement through 3GS and Bridgend Council respectively. But now the cabinet has agreed plans to create a centralised ‘in-house’ enforcement service – made up of one supervisor and four officers. Three 3GS staff would directly transfer into the new roles.
A council report says the enforcement team “would be intended to have a zero tolerance approach to environmental crime,” but that “it is not lawful or ethical for the Council to set targets for enforcement officers”.
The new enforcement team and change to fixed penalty notices have been referred to the council’s environment and regeneration scrutiny committee before a final decision is made.
Miles Punter, director of environment and housing for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “The Vale of Glamorgan has some of the cleanest streets in Wales and generally high level of compliance with parking rules. However, targeted enforcement is always needed to keep standards high.
“Having reviewed the enforcement arrangements currently in place for environmental and highway offences with 3GS and Bridgend County Borough Council respectively, we are proposing to bring these services back in-house with the establishment of a new all-encompassing enforcement team where the economies of scale achieved will ensure a more efficient service.
“If established, there will be no targets or quotas for our team but we are sure that by managing the service ourselves we can ensure a consistent and fair approach to enforcement while also covering all costs.”
Matt Discombe, LDR
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