Blackpool is poised to impose a zero tolerance crackdown on litter louts with private enforcement teams drafted in to hand out on-the-spot fines on anyone caught throwing rubbish.
Town hall chiefs are poised to sign up to a one-year contract with a private company which will enforce fines of £80 on people who drop litter or allow their dog to foul.
The move is part of a new strategy in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to make Blackpool the UK’s cleanest seaside resort by 2020.
Councillors are expected to agree to a one year pilot contract with civil enforcement company 3GS Environmental Enforcement Solutions when they meet next Monday.
Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Littering is not only a crime but it shows a complete disregard to the area where you are living or visiting.
“In the past, some people would drop litter because they thought they could get away with it.
This is a positive move which will hopefully improve the situation considerablyCoun Gillian Campbell
“However our new partnership with 3GS will make it much more likely those people will get caught.”
A team of five dedicated litter enforcers will focus mainly on the town centre and the Promenade.
They will work alongside the council’s existing Streetscene team which already has powers to hand out fines.
The contract will not cost the council anything. 3GS will receive a share of the revenue from the fines.
Earlier this month shocking images emerged of litter including disposable cups, milk bottles and dirty nappies strewn across the beach close to Central Pier.
Coun Campbell added: “Litter and dog fouling is a really emotive issue and barely a day goes by without us receiving a complaint about it.
“With a resort as busy as Blackpool, some litter is to be expected and where possible our staff try to keep the area as clean as we can.
“However with depleting resources it becomes more and more difficult to stay on top of it and we need the public to help us by putting their litter in the bin rather than dropping it on the floor.
“Thankfully, 80 per cent of people in Blackpool do the right thing and take their litter away with them or pick up after their pet, however we are beginning to turn up the heat on those who ignore the rules.”
The Keep Blackpool Tidy campaign, first announced last October, will focus on six strategic objectives in total also including education and community engagement.
Coun Campbell said: “Our approach to cleaning up the town is not all about enforcement however and we are working with Keep Britain Tidy to make sure it is as easy as possible for people to put their rubbish away and help us keep Blackpool tidy.
“I know people feel very strongly about littering and dog fouling and this is a positive move which will hopefully improve the situation considerably.”
Council chiefs are determined to keep the beaches clean after Blackpool South beach was awarded a prestigious Blue Flag last month in recognition of the cleanliness of the bathing waters and sands.
During a consultation, residents called for stronger enforcement and asked for bins to be emptied more often.
Richard McIlwain, deputy chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Alongside the recent announcement of the first Blue Flag Award winning beach in the resort, the ambition to make Blackpool the cleanest coastal resort in the country is a real statement of intent.
“I hope it inspires communities, schools, businesses and the millions of visitors who come to Blackpool every year to get involved in transforming Blackpool’s streets, parks and beaches.”
The contract with 3GS would be monitored by the council in order to make sure fines handed out are fair.
The 3GS enforcement will focus on the town centre and Promenade as part of the 12-month pilot, however, if successful, it could be extended to other areas.
Eileen Ormand, manager of the Blackpool Business Improvement District which covers the town centre and Central Promenade, said: “We all want a cleaner and tidier town and would prefer it if people didn’t drop litter in the first place.
“The BID works with the council’s Streetscene team emptying bins, removing fly tipping and cleaning up graffiti and we have also just taken on two more people to add to our cleaning team.”