Kingdom - Performance Update
- Meeting of Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 29th November 2018 6.00 p.m. (Item 29.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 29.
To receive a presentation.
Prior to discussion on this item, Councillor Andrew Hodson, having declared a prejudicial interest, left the meeting whilst the item was under discussion (see minute 24 ante).
Mark Smith Interim Director for Highways and Streetscene, addressed the Committee and referred to two briefing notes which had been circulated to the Committee. One highlighted Kingdom’s involvement in two partnership action days and the second the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued in the first quarter of operation for 2018/19. There had been 1393 FPNs issued between 1 August and 31 October, 2018. Of 113 appeals, one had been successful with the FPN being subsequently rescinded.
Responding to comments from Members, Mark Smith acknowledged that the numbers were low with regard to FPNs for dog fouling but this was a more difficult enforcement activity and suggested that this could be discussed at January’s meeting with Michael Fisher, the Managing Director of Kingdom, who would be in attendance at the January meeting. He would also provide a breakdown for the next meeting of the numbers who had paid just before their cases got to court. Additionally, he would provide further information to the January meeting on the proportions of the payments which went to Kingdom and those to the Council from the FPNs, including £78,000 collected in the first quarter, and also on whether Kingdom staff were paid an hourly rate or per performance.
Ken Abraham, Senior Solicitor, confirmed that the court costs did increase if the case went to trial and it was at the discretion of the court whether full or partial costs were awarded.
Mark Smith further informed the meeting that in advance of the Council awarding the second contract the Council had been very happy with their performance and the matter had also been considered at a call-in meeting of the Committee in July. The company had over 30 contracts across the UK, including one with the largest Council, Birmingham City which was now in its tenth year with Kingdom and were operating well. Environmental enforcement was an essential part of the overall approach to achieving a good quality environment and behaviour change. With regard to staff conduct at Kingdom he did know that they had a very rigorous approach and addressed any issues in a very robust manner.
Responding to further comments, Mark Smith stated that the scope of the contract had been broadened and it did also include smoke free legislation, littering from vehicles and trade waste legislation.
At the invitation of the Chair, the Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Anita Leech, addressed the Committee and stated that she was happy to listen to what the Committee had to say and to understand any concerns the Committee might have.
A Member referred to the need to introduce behavioural change to have a cleaner better environment which would ultimately mean less Council resources being spent on street cleaning. He also suggested the idea of introducing graduated fines dependent on the type of litter, such as dog fouling being amongst the worst to a tissue being dropped, the least worst and the possible use of the ‘luminous eyes’ Tidy Britain campaign poster.
Resolved – That the report be noted.