Council loses litter enforcement team

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The company responsible for tackling litter louts and fly tippers for Boston Council has pulled out of its contract with the council, the Standard can reveal.

3GS was responsible for patrolling the streets and issuing fixed penalties for environmental crimes including littering, fly-tipping, graffiti, street urination and dog fouling.

But Boston Council has this week confirmed that the company has pulled out of the contract with immediate effect.

The council says it is looking into alternative arrangements, but in the short term at least, it has been left without any on the ground enforcement officers.

Cllr Michael Cooper, leader of the council said: “Boston Borough Council have not terminated their enforcement contract with 3GS.

“3GS have served notice on the council to terminate the contract.

“The Council are currently looking at alternative ways to be able to continue to provide environmental crime enforcement activity.”

When asked about whether there was any active enforcement action in place at the moment, a spokesperson for the council said: “The council will utilise some limited staffing capacity for enforcement action against environmental crime until such time as an alternative can be provided.”

Despite repeated attempts to contact 3GS, the company has not responded.

But it also pulled out of a similar arrangement with a Bradford Council in West Yorkshire with the environment portfolio holder saying it had become apparent “they found it unprofitable”.

The contract with 3GS was extended by 12 months in April last year by Boston Council, and should have run until this April at least.

In a report at the time, councillors were told the introduction of the company had made a huge difference to enforcement figures.

The report to the environmental service committee stated: “The Council issued only 7 FPNs (fixed penalty notices) for environmental crime offences in 2016/17, this rose to 514 between April and December 2017 as a result of our use of 3GS. The 3GS service has significantly enhanced the Council’s capability to enforce issues such as PSPO dog controls, fly tipping and to target other matters including the consumption of alcohol.”

3GS received no payment from the council, but the contract allowed them to keep all fines generated. It issued 675 FPNs in 2018, including 428 for cigarette littering, six for urinating, and 76 for flytipping.