Greens call for council-run litter enforcement service

Gary Hart November 30, 2018

Greens claim they forced Labour to end failed outsourcing experiment.

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BRIGHTON and Hove could soon have a council-run litter enforcement service after pressure from Green Councillors led the Labour Council to u-turn on outsourcing to private company 3GS.

Greens have raised repeated concerns about Labour’s management of the litter contract with 3GS after the service provoked numerous complaints from residents and local businesses.

Under the contract, 3GS take 60% of the fines for littering and 70% for flytipping and do not deal with litter left on the beach. The approach of some 3GS operatives has also been widely criticised as ‘heavy handed,’ with many residents complaining of being given no warning or right to appeal fines.

Describing the contract as the “abject failure of the outsourcing of enforcement to a private firm,” the Greens have repeatedly called on Labour to implement a more accountable, customer focused council-run service.

Despite earlier claims by Labour Councillors that the private contract was “tackling the problem head on” a report going to Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee states that the 3GS contract will not be renewed.

Councillor Leo Littman, spokesperson for Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “After three years of running the Council, Labour in Brighton and Hove are finally starting to recognise the damage they are doing to the city. The contract awarded with a self-congratulatory fanfare to 3GS – which resulted in countless complaints from residents and local businesses – is being ended. At one point Labour spoke of how the contract sent out a ‘strong message’. Yet taken together the amount of litter, fly posting, dog mess and graffiti in the city is as bad as I can remember it.

“Sadly Labour’s mismanagement of  the 3GS contract is another example of how they have failed to get a grip on waste and litter in our city. After the Greens pressed repeatedly for the Council to run its own littering and fly-tipping enforcement service, Labour now say they will explore bringing this work in-house, where it always should have been. In December last year, Green MP Caroline Lucas was told that the Council had no plans to do this; yet just last week Cllr Gill Mitchell stated the Labour Council had been ‘thinking for some time of bringing the service in-house.’  How many more of their mistakes will Labour try to unmake before voters give their verdict on 2nd May?” 

A Labour group spokesperson, responded: “This is yet more nonsense from the Greens who continue to claim credit where it is not due.  For several months we have been looking to take the enforcement service in house when the current contract ends next February.  The Greens record on waste and recycling in this city was a disaster.”