A controversial litter enforcement firm will no longer operate in Wrexham county borough, and will be fully binned by the end of the year.
Kingdom Environmental Services have operated in Wrexham since April 2016, when Wrexham Council began a 12 month trial service in a bid to reduce littering and dog fouling.
Following the trial period, Kingdom were then re-appointed on a further two year deal, with well documented issues surrounding their operations both locally and further afield.
Wrexham Council ended up being the only local authority in Wales still be contracted to the company after Kingdom announced it would be ending its work in Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy from mid-August.
There has been pressure from some quarters for Wrexham Council to bin-off its contract with Kingdom however up until now senior councillors stood firm with the ‘zero tolerance’ approach taken by the company when issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for litter and dog fouling.
At the end of July it was confirmed that discussions over setting up a regional enforcement service had taken place between Wrexham Council and other north Wales councils.
Late yesterday afternoon Councillors were sent an informational email on the provisional Welsh Government settlement, future of management of football pitches in Wrexham – plus ‘environmental enforcement contract’ report.
The information report seen by Wrexham.com states: “Officers have written to Kingdom advising that the contract should be terminated in line with the provisions of the contract with three months’ notice. Kingdom have acknowledged receipt and the necessary arrangements are now commencing to arrange closedown of the systems, processes and new enforcement activity has ceased. The contract cessation date is December 28th 2018.”
“Officers are now examining options for the future of environmental enforcement in Wrexham. This will include an examination of all opportunities, including collaboration. An update report on business case of options will be provided, initially to the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee early in the New Year.”
Late last night Wrexham’s Plaid Cymru group on Wrexham Council published the news, with extracts from the report, saying: “This is long overdue. Kingdom did not ensure our streets were cleaner, they did not tackle dog fouling or flytipping.
“Since July the company has all but vanished – raising questions about how this contract was managed. Plaid Cymru pushed for the Executive Board to get rid of this company in July so we’re glad they finally listened to sense.
“The challenge now is to create an in-house service or work with other councils to make sure our streets are cleaner. Today’s Executive Board agreed to set up a new bailiff service in house and a separate litter enforcement team would be no different in terms of risk and potential income generation.”
In the Plaid Cymru statement they also add: “It has also been admitted that Kingdom have issued no tickets in August and September, confirming our suspicions that the company has effectively pulled out of North Wales completely” although that information is not contained in the report circulated to all councillors.