LITTER louts and dog mess dodgers of Swansea, watch out – enforcement officers could soon be watching you.
Council chiefs are looking to recruit an enforcement company to issue fixed penalties to people caught dropping rubbish or not cleaning up after their pet.
They want it to be a seven-day-a-week service and operate at no cost to the authority.
The council used to employ a litter enforcement company called 3GS, but the arrangement stopped a while back.
Rhiannon Howells, the owner of The Cwtch cafe, Caer Street, liked the sound of the idea.
“Definitely,” she said. “It’s very much needed in the city centre, especially now.
“People have no respect for the city in regards to littering. If people took more pride it would be a nicer place.
“We work hard to keep it clean here, but we quite regularly find rubbish in the doorway.”
She added: “I’ve got a little girl, and when I take her down the beach I don’t want to be walking over empty bottles and cans.”
Litter has plagued Swansea Marina and some beaches in Gower during recent hot weather.
Cllr Mark Thomas, the cabinet member for environment enhancement and infrastructure management, said the previous litter enforcement contract had been successful.
“Now that contract has ended, we’d like to bring on board a further partner who could work with us, assisting our own enforcement officers and help keep the city clean and litter-free,” he said.
“Littering and dog fouling continues to be something the majority of our residents will not tolerate.
“We see regular calls for the council to find those that carry out this type of anti-social behaviour and wish to see this selfish attitude eradicated.
“This is not something the council can do alone, we need the public to support us and we also need a partner to assist with the enforcement.”
He added: “Ideally, we’d like to bring a partner on board before the end of the year.”
The council is seeking expressions of interest and wants the enforcement officers to be paid an hourly rate and not be financially incentivised based on the number of fines issued.
Swansea Council didn’t issue any dog fouling fines in 2018-19, but it provides numerous dog mess bins.
Matthew Griffiths, the manager of Rugby Heaven and Moti, in the city centre, said the enforcement company idea sounded good.
“If it was cost-neutral (to the council), and actually turned out to be completely cost-neutral then I would support it more,” he said.
Otherwise, he said he felt it could be “a bit of a waste of money” given that businesses already paid rates.