Senior councillors on North East Lincolnshire Council agreed to outsource enforcement of dog fouling and littering to a third party provider.
The council’s Cabinet unanimously supported the commissioning of a third party provider for enforcement on its behalf across North East Lincolnshire on a trial basis for 18 months.
This would supplement existing enforcement provision, the council has said.
It is an offence under law to not clean up dog mess in a public place. The current fine imposed by North East Lincolnshire Council is £50.
A report to councillors showed that the number of penalty charge notices in the authority area had dropped from 27 in 2012-13 to just two in 2017-18.
An option considered and rejected by councillors was to create a dedicated ‘self-funding’ dedicated dog fouling and litter enforcement team utilising and redeploying existing staff within North East Lincolnshire Council.
This would have cost the council approximately £84,000 a year.
For it to have been cost-effective, at least 70 penalty charge notices would have had to have been issued each week.
The council said that it feared a negative backlash from the public, who would view the number of charges as being motivated by generating income from the council, not recovering costs.
Councillor David Bolton, portfolio holder for safer communities and public protection, said: “We need robust enforcement. I’ve been a councillor since 2010 and one of the issues that comes up is littering and dog fouling.
“We’re short of staff. We haven’t got the capacity to do it ourselves.
We’ve not done any fines for littering in three years. We will not be overzealous.”
Council leader Ray Oxby said: “This third party approach has worked in other local authorities.”
He added that there was overwhelming public opinion that the council must act.