Litter enforcement on Wirral

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough

I have several questions re the enforcement of littering on Wirral

1.Kingdom services have been contracted by WBC to issue fines for littering. How much has WBC paid during the last financial year for their services and how is the company being paid : per fine or a general agreed sum per year?

2. What happens to the paid fines : who gets the money?

3. How much money has WBC received from the littering fines during the last financial year?

4. Do the officers issuing the fines receive a bonus for each fine on top of their hourly wage
And have they been set a minimum fine task per day?

5. Have the litter officers worked on bank holidays / weekends?

6. If yes, how many fines have been issued in West Kirby during the first May bank holiday weekend 2018?
How many of these have been issued re littering on the beach?

7. Is littering defined as creating or owning your rubbish ( like smokimg a cigarette, drinking out of a can etc.before throwing the butt / bottle etc away) or can somebody be fined for shifting rubbish somebody unknown has left before?

8. Is voluntarily cleaning of the public grid above a drain, when dirt left in the street falls into the drain -also littering and can be fined?

9. How many people in the last tax year have refused to pay their fine and challenged the decision?

10. How many of those were successful in court?

11. What is the percentage of dropping cigarette buds compared to other litter fines? Can you please provide me with a breakdown?

12. Can WBC drop a charge themselves or is it only possible via magistrate?

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Müller

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Kuhlmann-Muller

 

Further to your recent Freedom of Information request, please see below
the Council's response to your enquiry.

 

1.Kingdom services have been contracted by WBC to issue fines for
littering. How much has WBC paid during the last financial year for their 
services and how is the company  being paid : per fine or a general agreed
sum  per year?

In line with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
Transparency Code, all Wirral Council payments over £500 are be published
on our website. The information that you have requested is held at: 
[1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/about-council/...

 

Details of the payment terms of the contract constitutes commercially
sensitive data and will not be released as we consider this information is
exempt information under Section 43 of The Freedom of Information Act
2000. The Council believes that to disclose the information would be
likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person. (A person may
be an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other
legal entity.) The concept of commercial interest is wide and a commercial
interest relates to a person’s ability to participate competitively in a
commercial activity, i.e. the purchase and sale of goods or services.

 

The Council has had regard to the advice contained within the guidance on
the Information Commissioner’s Office website at
[2]http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guid...

 

The public interest test has been considered and the Council believes that
disclosure of any such information would be likely to prejudice the
commercial interests of any person. The Council needs to operate in a
commercial and competitive environment and disclosure of information, in
this case, could prejudice the ability for the Council to operate
competitively.

 

2. What happens to the paid fines : who gets the money?

Any payments of Fixed Penalty Notices are made to Wirral Council.

 

3. How much money has WBC received from the littering fines during the
last financial  year?

£61,440.00

 

4. Do the officers issuing the fines receive  a bonus for each  fine on
top of their hourly wage And have they been set a minimum fine task per
day?

The environmental enforcement officers are not within the employ of Wirral
Council and the Council does not set their terms and conditions.

 

5. Have the litter officers worked on bank holidays / weekends?

Yes.

 

6. If yes, how many fines have been issued in West Kirby during the first
May bank holiday weekend 2018? How many of these have been issued re
littering on the beach?

None.

Not applicable.

 

7.  Is littering defined as creating or owning your rubbish (like smoking
a cigarette, drinking out of a can etc.before throwing the butt / bottle
etc away) or can somebody be fined for shifting rubbish  somebody unknown
has left before?

The offence of littering is made out in the relevant legislation, the
Environmental Protection Act 1990, which can be readily accessed online.

 

8. Is voluntarily cleaning of the public grid above a drain, when dirt
left in the street falls into the drain -also littering and can be fined?

The offence of littering is made out in the relevant legislation, the
Environmental Protection Act 1990, which can be readily accessed online.

 

9.  How many  people  in the last tax year have refused  to pay their fine
and challenged the decision?

10. How many of those were successful in court?

There were 13 trials for littering in the last financial year and 2 of
them resulted in a verdict of not guilty.

 

11. What is the percentage of dropping cigarette buds compared  to other
litter fines? Can you please provide me with a breakdown?

Smoking related litter constituted 94.7% of the litter fixed penalties
issued over the previous 12 months.

 

12. Can WBC drop a charge themselves or is it only possible via
magistrate?

There is no legal obligation on Wirral Council to continue to pursue any
specific charge.

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review of the refusal of the information requested.
Please direct any request for an internal review to
[3][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated for
review.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal review you also
have the right to complain to the information Commissioner,
[4]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Senior Information Management Officer

Business Services - Digital

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

[5]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[6][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[7]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

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Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Litter enforcement on Wirral'.

Thank you for answering most of my questions.
Re questions 7 and 8 , I would like a precise answer to my very specific questions, please.
The legislation you have quoted is a very lengthy read and I haven't found an answer to my questions re shifting "second hand" rubbish / rubbish which has been created by somebody else.
I would like to repeat my questions and would like a precise answer please, from WBC as the litter enforcement body
( via Kingdom services)

7. Is littering defined as creating or owning your rubbish (like smoking
a cigarette, drinking out of a can etc.before throwing the butt / bottle
etc away) or can somebody be fined for shifting rubbish somebody unknown
has left before?

The offence of littering is made out in the relevant legislation, the
Environmental Protection Act 1990, which can be readily accessed online.

8. Is voluntarily cleaning of the public grid above a drain, when dirt
left in the street falls into the drain -also littering and can be fined?

The offence of littering is made out in the relevant legislation, the
Environmental Protection Act 1990, which can be readily accessed online.

Yours faithfully,

Birgitta Kuhlmann-Muller

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Ms Kuhlmann-Muller

In response to your email of 13 June 2018, we can advise the following.

7. The act of littering is made out under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 87 (1) 'A person is guilty of an offence if he throws down, drops or otherwise deposits any litter in any place to which this section applies and leaves it.'

An individual takes ownership of litter upon handling and/or moving the litter in question, and so it is then that persons responsibility to dispose of the item in a safe and legal manner upon taking ownership, regardless as to the length of time that the litter had been present prior to handling.

8. It is not an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to clear the tops of public grids however, it may be an offence under other legislation to cause items to fall into that grid as a result of that cleansing.

Yours sincerely

Lynette Paterson
Principal Information Management Officer
Business Management - Digital

Treasury Building
Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

Tel: 0151 691 8201
[Wirral Borough Council request email]

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may involve licensing and the application of a charge

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.