Adur and Worthing litter enforcement to be taken on by Hampshire council

Responsibility for enforcement on litter and dog fouling is set to be taken on by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC).

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:50 pm
Litter at Shoreham beach. Pic Steve Robards

Under the terms of the agreement two East Hampshire officers will patrol Adur one day per week, and Worthing one day per week.

The service includes the administration of all tickets, managing representations, investigating complaints, body worn cameras viewings, preparation of courts packs and attendance and representations at court.

Adur and Worthing Councils (AWC) currently employ two full-time equivalents tasked with a wide range of environmental management enforcement tasks, but their primary role has been to pursue fly-tipping offences and abandoned vehicles.

While littering has been part of their role, there has been minimal enforcement of littering offences.

Similarly, AWC also employ two dog wardens and the number of fixed penalty notices is relatively low.

The proposals were signed off by the councils’ joint strategic committee on Tuesday night (December 1).

Officers will come back after 12 months to ascertain if the arrangements have been a success.

According to their report: “Historically, the importance of litter and dog fouling enforcement patrols has often been lower priority than that of other tasks, and the back-office administration has not been in place to manage the associated bureaucracy efficiently.

“Officers appreciate that there is a strong political desire to manage this enforcement more closely, and collaboration with EHDC presents an opportunity, through a shared economy of scale, to procure a cost-neutral enforcement service to help drive improvements in our neighbourhoods.

“EHDC has entered into similar enforcement agreements with nine other local authorities.”

The councils had explored the possible use of a private enforcement company but it was felt these can often be ‘heavy handed’.

Councillors described how they had seen a rise in littering in several parts of Adur and Worthing during the summer.

Emma Evans, Adur’s executive member for environment, said: “I wish it was not necessary but I do believe it is not about education because everyone realises they have to pick up their litter and dog poo.”

Val Turner, Worthing’s executive member for health and wellbeing, asked that the enforcement officers do not just focus on the town centres and seafronts. She said: “There are other areas that get seriously impacted by litter and dog mess.”

Officers explained they had the flexibility to move enforcement activity around and ‘dial it up and dial it down’.