Redbridge litter police withdraws services after not making enough money

Cllr Howard said the move will save money. Picture: PA

Cllr Howard said the move will save money. Picture: PA - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council’s private litter police issued more than 1,000 fines in just six months this year but has withdrawn its services after not making enough money.

Although more than 1,000 residents landed a fixed penalty notice in a pilot scheme, the private company withdrew its services early after too many people paid their fine early - at a reduced cost of £50.

A report by the council notes that the officers’ work led to “reduced littering in most of the town centres in Redbridge”.

But the company withdrew from the one-year pilot scheme in August, complaining the opportunity for a discount on the fine if it was paid promptly had “resulted in a lower than predicted level of income”.

In a report set to be discussed at Redbridge Town Hall tonight, it is revealed that the council is now considering removing the option of the early payment discount.

It notes that although the pilot scheme ended early, it improved Ilford town centre’s appearance and meant that the borough’s enforcement team could focus on other issues, including fly-tipping.

Now council officers have proposed tendering for a new company to run the same service, but residents would not receive a discount for paying early.

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In the report, council officers acknowledge that the removal of the £30 discount “will disproportionately impact those on the lowest income”.

However, it adds that handing over this job to a private company will result in those responsible for littering being fined.

Any surplus income from these fines which is handed back to the council will be used to pay for cleansing services.

It says: “This produces a fairer process whereby people who are responsible for producing an unclean environment will pay disproportionately more for the services (through fines) to clean the borough than those who do not litter.”

The service offered by the private company will run at no cost to the council.

It is intended that the company will generate enough revenue from fines for the service to pay for itself and it will be required to share an agreed percentage of “any surplus money” it recovers above its required costs to deliver the contract.