BCP Council presses ahead with private scheme to fight flytipping
AN outsourced flytipping enforcement scheme will be launched by BCP Council despite warnings that alternatives had not properly been considered.
Cabinet members unanimously backed plans for a pilot scheme which will see responsibility for tackling the issue handed over to an unnamed private company, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Despite concern about the procurement process, councillors greenlit a 12-month trial, saying the “specialised” firm would be more effective than council officers at reducing flytipping.
The proposal was opposed by the council’s scrutiny board when it examined the planned pilot and recommended the plan be reconsidered.
Questions had also been raised over the arrangement which will see flytipping fine income go to the company while the council would still be responsible for clean-up costs.
Board chair Cllr Stephen Bartlett raised these concerns at the cabinet meeting, saying there were “several doubts” over the arrangement.
“There were concerns expressed about the potential for reputational damage to the council by using a newly-formed company that appeared to have no evidential experience,” he said.
“Doubts were raised about the due diligence process in choosing a selected supplier.”
He added that an alternative approach to bring the service in-house had been discussed “at length”.
The board had recommended that the cabinet “reconsider” the pilot, but councillors were told the trial was “low risk” and that delaying its introduction should be avoided.
Cllr May Haines, cabinet member for community safety, said: “This is quite a specialised area, and there are not many businesses or companies out there who are trained to do this.
“It is a relatively new company but it is run by people who have many years of experience dealing with flytipping.
“This is a pilot so if at any point we are dissatisfied with the service that’s being provided we have the option to terminate it with 30 days’ notice.”
Last month community enforcement manager Matthew King said the council had “no real deterrent” for serial offenders because it lacked expertise.
And other cabinet members said the council should not delay the introduction of measures aimed at resolving this.
“It’s a trial,” Cllr Karen Rampton said. “The financial risk to the council is minimum.
“We could faff around for a few more months or we could just do what I’m sure residents would like us to do – which is to address the problem.”
The cabinet voted unanimously to approve the pilot which is now due to begin in July.