Liverpool is to adopt a zero tolerance approach to people who drop litter with more staff empowered to carry out enforcement.
The tough new measures were announced by Mayor Joe Anderson following a special summit convened to discuss how Liverpool can be made cleaner and greener.
Over 80 delegates from more than 60 businesses, community organisations, schools, housing associations, football cubs and other groups attended the Town Hall summit.
“We could have had many more organisations present – the summit was very much oversubscribed,” said Mayor Anderson, “which indicates how much interest there is this issue. It clearly demonstrates how much people want Liverpool to be proud of their city as it is clean and green and not tainted by the anti-social minority who drop litter, fly-tip or let their dogs foul our streets. The money we have to spend on cleaning up after them and we spend £6.5m a year, could be far better spent on providing other services.
“So, we are going to have a blitz on those people who drop litter or don’t clean up after their dogs. ”
The council will work with registered housing providers to train their staff to take on enforcement powers. And more than 100 Police Community Support Officers are also going to be enforcing environmental crimes.
“It means that there will be very many more people working to stop people littering our city at no extra cost to the council taxpayers, ” said Mayor Anderson.
He said that in the last two years £200,000 in fixed penalty notices had been issued with 106 people prosecuted with the courts fining them an average of £175. He added further initiatives on enforcement would be announced soon.
Mayor Anderson said 26 apprentices, jointly funded by the city council and its streetscene contractors Amey will be employed to help keep the city’s streets clean.
He also announced a crackdown on businesses who created litter problems. “Most traders see the value in a clean city in attracting more visitors and this is especially the case in what it going to be a really special year for Liverpool with major events such as the International Festival of Business and the return for the Giants,” he said. “We want the city to be sparkling clean for these events – and having set the standard maintain it for everybody who lives here or visits Liverpool.
“However, there are some fast food outlets who allow their customers to create a mess. If they won’t work with us in clearing away rubbish we will review their opening hours through our licensing process.”
But as well as taking action against those who commit environmental crime Mayor Anderson said there would be a reward scheme for good behaviour such as using litter bins correctly.
And he said that he was setting a recycling target for the city of 55% plus by 2020, in excess of the Government’s target figure by using a number of new measures.
A new poster campaign schools learning pack to support the curriculum and teach children about the importance of environmental issues will be drawn up; there will be a recycling collecting scheme for business and improved access to recycling services for houses which have passageways.
“By investing in recycling we not only benefit the city but we also save – the less we bury in the ground, the less we are hit by landfill tax.
“All the new moves on enforcement and recycling are initiatives which the council can take but while we can play a major part in helping to deliver a cleaner city, the message from today is very much that we cannot do everything ourselves.
“Businesses, community groups, schools and other organisations have to show pride in their city by taking action themselves. Together we can make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Mayor Anderson.
“Those organisations attending the summit have signed pledges in which they commit themselves to playing their part in helping to make Liverpool cleaner and greener and we will work together to help deliver those pledges.”
• 14,000 tonnes of litter are removed from Liverpool’s streets every year
• £6.5million is spent on cleaning the streets – that could pay for the education of 1960 primary school pupils for a year or heating 4,500 homes
• It costs the council £85 for every tonne of waste it sends to landfill
Pictured: Mayor Anderson, Bill Addey from City Central BID, Mike Cafferkey director at Amey and Jenny Stewart from the Chamber of Commerce sign a pledge to make the city cleaner and greener