New drive to keep Walsall tidy from litter and fly-tipping
Litter patrols across Walsall are being stepped up and more council staff being used to help tidy up the town.
Private enforcement firm 3GS began clamping down on dog fouling, fly-tipping and littering from September last year.
Nearly £1,000 worth of fines were dished out in just over a month as Walsall Council looked to clamp down on mess.
Now council leader Sean Coughlan says seven frontline posts will be reinstated to the authority's clean and green services.
He said the workers will 'reduce levels of deterioration' across the borough due to littering and added: "We propose to reinstate seven front line posts to maintain cleaner streets with a greater focus on more frequent litter picking to maintain higher standards.
"We also intend to give residents more of a heads-up so that they know the days which will be set aside for neighbourhood areas to be cleaned.
"This will enable us greater opportunity to work with community groups and volunteers to coordinate these community clean-up days.
"Hotspot areas will be targeted at intervals throughout the year and we will continue to support communities in tackling environmental crime with fly-tip removal and increased enforcement activity."
Last year the council stated around 30 tons of rubbish were dumped in the borough every week costing in the region of £120,000 a year to clean it up.
As well as carrying out inconspicuous investigations officers from 3GS provide a visible presence patrolling the streets, parks and open spaces.
They have legal powers to stop anyone committing an environmental crime and will request their name, address and proof of identity.
Anyone refusing to be cooperative can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act which can result in a £1,000 fine from magistrates.
Protesters gathered outside Walsall Council house last week to voice their concern over a budget proposal set to be finalised on February 23 that will see £86 million drained from resources over the next four years. The cuts will see the authority axe hundreds of jobs and nine libraries, while raising council tax by nearly five per cent.
But Mr Coughlan said: "We have listened to the people, communities and businesses of Walsall and taken on board what they have said very carefully."