Council officials will discuss the possibility of a review into the scale of littering and dog fouling in West Norfolk at a meeting this evening.
Reports to West Norfolk Council’s environment and community panel say that a review would help them better understand the extent of the problems and allow them to determine the resources required to address them.
The reports say that the scale of these issues is “not currently well understood”, but both impact on the community and the council’s resources.
“In 2015 the Community Safety and Neighbourhood Nuisance Team (CSNN) took on, with no additional resources, the delegated powers to deal with a wide range of environmental crime issues, including illegal waste disposal, littering and dog fouling,” it adds.
The teams also work on a “large caseload” including statutory nuisance, anti-social behaviour, foul drainage complaints and consulting on planning applications.
But recommendations to the panel suggest a costed review is undertaken to determine the level of resources needed to combat littering and dog fouling in the borough.
“The CSNN team do not currently undertake proactive work in either of these areas; the reasons for this are specifically priority and resource driven,” the report says.
“The team receives in excess of 50 requests for service a week and do not have the resources within existing budgets to commit officer time to active patrols without significantly impacting on the other functions of the team.
“Ideally offences need to be witnessed by authorised officers and dealt with at the time of the offence.”
Reports from members of the public can be investigated, but this is more resource intensive.
The panel will discuss two options – to either maintain the existing levels of response or to undertake the review this evening.
Maintaining the existing levels of response would be cost neutral, but “as it is effectively managed by street cleaning, there will be limited change to behaviours and attitudes to littering and dog fouling across the borough”.
Regarding the possibility of a review, the report says: “Given the current demands on the CSNN team it is likely that this will require recruitment into a new post, this would be subject to a job evaluation but similar roles elsewhere in the county attract a salary in the region of £18-£20k pa.”