Litter Enforcement

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    Sent to Wrexham Council today
    I have looked at the reports re Kingdom each month(the latest is attached)
    I am appalled that out of 382 offences 364 are for dropping cigarette ens and 2 relating to dogs and none for dog fouling.
    This contract has run for a considerable time and not produced any tangible effect on major littering or dog-fouling.
    Do the members of the executive care? Or do they not read reports.
    Please scrutinize this contract and its purpose, effectiveness and monitoring.



    Totally agree the Council should direct Kingdom to target dog fouling, a target of at least 50% should be set. The other littering that is missed is the chewing gum that is stuck to the pavements especially in High Street. Have any tickets ever been issued for dropping chewing gum? How much does the Council spend annually on cleaning chewing gum from its pavements? Again the Council is in the position to instruct Kingdom and set a target.



    The main reason Anglesey council removed Kingdom was due to the sheer number of complaints by the local residents.



    The main reason Anglesey council removed Kingdom was due to the sheer number of complaints by the local residents.

    If only the current Wrexham Councillor set-up took local resident complaints seriously. Anyone who disagrees with how things are currently done in the town/county are in the wrong and are part of some kind of problem, rather than people to work with and help generate decent solutions that work for most.

    Of course when you get elected in on 30% turnouts, as long as at least 15% of your total ward agrees with you and actually bothers to vote then it doesn’t matter who else you alienate or annoy across the entire Wrexham populous. Sweeten the deal with new facilities in the ward conveniently on election year, bish bash bosh.

    Anyway back to the main point.

    The actual intelligent way for hurt Kingdom would be to hurt them in the pocket by people STOPPING DROPPING FAG ENDS. Just imagine that revenue stream drying up, they’d have to work really hard to find anyone else intentionally littering. Who do they go next for an easy target? People spitting gum out?

    The problem is that smokers who actually just lob their fag ends on the floor (I’m sure the vast majority of smokers don’t these days) are not particularly sensitive to rule following or intelligent collective action to deal with scourges on society, such as Kingdom. I’m not going to get into any discussion about whether or not smoking is bad – that’s a personal individual’s decision on their own health. It’s like the same mindsets of drivers who speed recklessly in areas where the signs come up that signify that there’s either going to be a fixed or chance of a mobile speed camera and then they get caught speeding despite being warned. Likewise, the reckless fag end droppers get fined just aren’t helping themselves or anyone else either. Instead of thinking hang on a minute and warning their mates to be careful, they just get angry and claim innocence, even though they know what they did wrong.

    From a personal POV I don’t like Kingdom because I don’t think a private for-profit business group should have the rights and powers to go round intimidating members of the public, especially when the net outcome is a pittance back into the public coffers and a hefty wad of cash into the profits of that private company. In my mind, that’s extortion. We have established that they don’t go along with recommended DEFRA guidelines, which is give the person the opportunity to pick up the litter – this guideline makes sense as it offers an education angle to litter dropping, making people think twice about dropping litter, rather than right it’s an instant fine zero tolerance, which puts Kingdom officers at complete odds with the general public.

    Also, they are not actually helping to improve the overall litter issues in the areas they operate in, so it’s a complete farce.

    Someone has tweeted to @wrexham about the fact that even though they try to get the police involved if someone refuses to give an address, the police don’t want to get involved as it’s not a police matter. If this is the case then this is bordering on racketeering. The only thing I can suggest to people beyond not actually dropping fag ends etc… is mass civil disobedience and refusing to let them know who you are. Obviously easier said than done if some burly intimidating blokes come up to you, it’s going to work on the vast majority of people who might be concerned for their own well-being from their behaviour or belief of a trumped up level of authority. It would be very interesting to know what % ratio of fines collected are from easy targets, rather than people who are more likely to basically tell them to f*ck off. Would be interesting to get hold of their training manuals. Are they actively profiling certain types of people (e.g. oaps, women on their own, young people etc…) to try and get fines out of? A demographic breakdown could well prove some level of active discrimination. It’s already been noted that they generally do not target groups of lads/groups of men who are actively littering right in front of their face.



    Yes they are trained to only target the sort of people who are likely to cooperate with them, as this is Kingdoms best chance of making a profit. There’s no money in trying to fine a group of lads etc who will just tell them to get lost.



    The March figures forced out of Kingdom once again, demonstrate that the easy targets have priority,surprise,surprise.
    The council, through Kingdom, have launched another attack on the people of Wrexham with particular emphasis
    on those that live in certain areas of the City. It’s not good enough we are watched by faceless people in front of CCTV screens or harassed by parking wardens we are now spied on and followed by the employees of Kingdom (and in effect WCBC) just praying we drop some litter or a ciggy butt so they can issue us with a “fine” which will serve to increase Kingdom’s profits and help that employee get a bigger “competency allowance” (bonus), disgraceful! As has been said, can we see any difference in the levels of dog fouling, discarded bottles or fast food packaging that tends to be strewn along our roadsides and streets? Certainly no difference in our village, but hey, there may be less ciggy butts in certain areas. On another note, i would wager that Kingdom’s profits are extracted from the very people that can least afford to pay 75 quid and that, quite largely, is down to Councillor Bithel’s approach to it all by not following DEFRA’s guidlines ie. give people a chance to pick the offending material (sensible option No:1) up instead, opting with an almost evangelical zeal for a “zero tolerance” (nonsense option No:1) approach for Kingdom’s employees issuing the “fines”; his continued (pathetic) defence of what is proving more and more to be the indefensible shames him and the councillors that support him. On the face of it we, the people of Wrexham, have another year of this attack to suffer as WCBC stupidly renewed the contract last April for two years, beyond belief! We need rid of this blight that is Kingdom that now, in a way, seems worse than that which they were brought in to eliminate and have failed so miserably to do!



    Judging by the inane comments from Cllr. Bithell recently and unfortunately, over the longer term, is he fast becoming the local version of Boris Johnson?



    Judging by the inane comments from Cllr. Bithell recently and unfortunately, over the longer term, is he fast becoming the local version of Boris Johnson?

    Wrexham suffers from too many career politicians and their dim view is that they are incapable of admitting mistakes or changing policies that actually cause harm and distress to many local people. Any genuine challenge to what is going on either from opposition councillors, the press or the general public is viewed as something to be dismissed until people get bored of it and it goes away. It does very much mirror the likes of Boris Johnson et al in the current shower that is our British Government.

    Only when sufficient public outrage is expressed and they are effectively forced into a corner do they yield, but this is a massive bulldozer method. Public resistance over Plas Madoc demolition caused large numbers of councillors to quit the Labour Party. Public resistance to the demolition of the Groves caused the Council to P*ss vaste swathes of rate-payer’s money up the wall in Court costs and now they will let the building rot and not allow it to be put to educational use because they didn’t get their own way.

    We are very much still in the old school way of thinking in terms of councillors. They are stuck back 20 years ago when councillors did and said and the public took what was going on as the best option for them – they asked that no public interest was taken in their actions and that enough people would vote them back in once every few years.

    With hyperlocal news and social media these dinosaur-type councillors view the ever-increasing public scrutiny as a nuisance and a hindrance to the actual doing of “council business”. This quite simply has to change.

    I read an article the other day where someone has predicted (could be wrong) that Labour will sweep the council elections in London because they are bringing in idealistic, listening to the people style fresh politicians. Ones that engage on the doorstep, are not afraid to challenge the status quo and actually try and make a difference to people’s lives rather than dictate to them that it is important to have a “conservative” mindset and accept that we all have to deal with austerity. Now whether or not they will actually deliver on these promises is a completely different matter, but there is a suggestion that previously affluent Tory safe councils like Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea etc… where it was assumed that the local Tory candidates could sit pretty rather than go round on the doorsteps to drum up support, could well turn red. The gravy train is over. The demand for active and idealistic go-getter councillors, rather than wealthy pillar of the community, status quo, bureaucratic by the book councillors is coming to pass. Don’t get me wrong, the councillors of this profile type could be from any party, it’s just at the moment London is having somewhat of a Labour love-in and they are making all the right moves at grass-roots level.

    The general rule is that London is about 20 years ahead of the curve when it comes to political trends and then it filters out into the rest of the country – Wrexham being affected more by North West England than South Wales will definitely be affected.

    You only need to look at the councillors in Wrexham who people make the most positive noise for and are very much in a minority. You’ve got Clrs Jones and Harper of Plaid & as much as I may not agree with his viewpoints or ideology, Clr Atkinson does work hard for the people. We will have to wait a few more local elections before a configuration of decent and perceived competent councillors become a majority rather than a minority and we can see an executive board that has a genuine vested interest in listening to the people of Wrexham.

    How this ties in with Kingdom is that it is one of those bad decisions for Wrexham that will be very difficult to reverse until enough groundswell forces the council’s hand.


    Council Watcher

    Council sees sense –(sorry not Wrexham) Angelsey throw Kingdom contract into a waste paper bin.




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