FOI request (FOI-97327676)
Feedback leading to enforcement against smoking related littering
Requested Mon 26 November 2018
Responded Thu 13 December 2018Could you please supply me with the details of why the decision was taken to enlist private contractors to tackle people who drop cigarette butts in Hastings and St. Leonards.I would also be grateful if you could give me a brief outline of how the money collected in fines has been/will be allocated.Also, please supply if possible the cost to the Council of dealing with cigarette butts dropped by smokers prior to the commencement of this enforcement.Many thanks
For many years littering and fouling has been a serious concern for the Council.
Since about 2008 our Warden Service has been enforcing against these offences, including issuing Fixed Penalty Notices and prosecutions where appropriate. Over the years we have also run several awareness raising campaigns, including in relation to smoking related litter, which is one of the commonest types of littering in Hastings. For example we have handed out thousands of 'butt boxes' to encourage smokers to dispose of their waste responsibly, and all of our litter bins can be used for smoking related litter.
Councillors often report these issues to our waste and enforcement services as they are raised by residents, and many residents contact us direct.
Last year we ran a social media campaign highlighting the issues and trying to raise public awareness in the hope that this would also result in some behaviour change amongst those committing these offences. We received a lot of positive feedback, including messages urging the Council to take a much more robust approach to enforcement for littering and fouling.
Despite all of this enforcement and awareness raising work, and lots of litter bins, it is clear that there is still too much litter and dogs mess in the borough, and that clearing it up costs the Council and our residents a lot of money.
As a result we needed to consider other potential options for addressing the problem, and the Council's Cabinet unanimously approved the proposal to run an enforcement pilot with Kingdom Services Group Ltd. Officers were then authorised to enforce littering and also dog fouling offences during a 12 month pilot. However the Kingdom Pilot ended in July so we do not currently contract any company for this type of enforcement and we are currently reviewing the pilot and assessing what if anything may replace this contracted out service.
The business model for the Kingdom Pilot was that they retained 85% of all paid income for FPNs that they issued.
Hastings Borough Council holds no information in respect of the clearing of cigarette butts as the individual cost of these is not specified within the contract.
Freedom of Information