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Kingdom to take on litterbugs in Ashford

clip_image002[128]Kingdom will soon be providing environmental protection services on behalf of yet another council in Kent – this time it is Ashford Borough Council. Kingdom will tackle litter and dog fouling in the borough, initially for a 12 month trial period, starting on the 5th September 2016.

Kingdom’s officers will be issuing £75 on the spot fines to anyone caught deliberately dropping litter or not clearing up after their dog. There will be no reduction in cost for early payment. The move comes after it was recently announced that the council has not issued any littering fines in the last three and a half years.

Kingdom is already successfully providing environmental protection services for Tunbridge Wells District Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Swale Borough Council, Canterbury City Council, Gravesham Borough Council, Thanet District Council and Dartford Borough Council. Kingdom’s specialist teams are led by experts with an ex-police and military background and deliver over 270,000 Environmental Protection hours per annum on behalf of local authorities across the UK.

Kingdom’s officers will not have a target for issuing fixed penalty notices from the council, but they are expecting a significant number of fines to be handed out over the 12 month period.

Kingdom will be providing three officers in the borough – two in Ashford town centre and one in Tenterden. They will be flexible and will be able to move to different locations if required, particularly if there are specific problems in certain locations, or if there are major events taking place. The officers will not be operating covertly - they will wear uniforms similar to the council’s parking enforcement officers, identity badges and body-worn cameras which should improve payment rates and reduce appeals.

The aim is for the scheme to be cost neutral, but any profits made will be pushed back into supporting other environmental projects within the council, such as more dog warden patrols, enforcement campaigns and equipment for litter education.

A press release from Ashford Borough Council said: “We all want to live in a clean and pleasant borough which is why Ashford Borough Council will be working in partnership with a private company to help tackle littering and other environmental blights in the borough.”

Councillor Clair Bell, the council’s portfolio holder for Public Interaction and Borough Presentation, said: “Ashford Borough Council works hard to keep the borough looking clean and tidy for its residents and visitors. In order to regenerate the town centre and attract tourism it is vital that our borough is clean and well presented. Perpetrators should pay for the blight they bring to our town. It is disappointing to see people are continuing to drop litter and other waste in their own town. Kingdom is very experienced and we expect them to take a firm but fair approach when they are dealing with people caught littering in Ashford and Tenterden.” Councillor Bell added that she hopes to extend the scheme to parks, open spaces and cemeteries in the borough.

At a recent cabinet meeting, Council Leader Gerry Clarkson said: “I get letters and see in the press how the council gets blamed for the litter problem, but we aren’t the ones dropping it. So those who are doing it will face a heavy fine. The wilful disregard for everyone else is simply not fair on the public. We are on the move, let nobody be in any doubt about our resolve to stop those who are flouting the rules.”

The Town Clerk of Tenterden Town Council, Phil Burgess, said: “Littering and dog fouling has long been a problem in Tenterden and I applaud this initiative for a healthier environment.”

Innovative, independent and driven to explore new ways Kingdom successfully manage thousands of service personnel to the highest standard specialising in security, cleaning and environmental protection. Our national network of regional support offices manage thousands of service personnel to the highest standard, benchmarked by all the major UK quality accreditation bodies.

Established in 1993 and operating nationally, commercial and service strength supported with organic and acquisition growth has seen Kingdom become one of the largest independently owned companies in the UK within their areas of service expertise. Commercially strong they have a strategy to continually grow and strengthen by expanding their services and offering a complete support service to their customers.

Kingdom take a fresh approach to the support services market: adapting to the proliferation of new technologies and emerging security threats, whilst also offering their customers a leaner, smarter and more connected way of working.

For more information about Kingdom and all their services, please visit www.kingdom.co.uk or call 0845 051 7702.