From Keighley News, 2nd November 2017
Written by Alastair Shand
Private enforcement officers are moving into Keighley to crack down on litter louts.They will issue £80 fines to people caught littering, including spitting and dropping chewing gum in the streets. Their powers also extend to handing out fixed penalty notices to dog owners who don't clean-up after their pooches. To date, the 3GS officers have worked only in Bradford city centre.
But following their success there – 1,920 fines have been handed out since the contract with the environmental enforcement company began in July – they are being rolled out to Keighley to work alongside council wardens in the town.
They will also speak to shoppers about the importance of keeping Keighley tidy and liaise with business owners.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's executive member for environment, sport and culture, said: "The council is working very hard, despite decreasing resources, to keep on top of the litter problem in all areas of the district.
"We hope that the enforcement officers working with council wardens will have a significant impact on the problem.
"However, the council can only do so much.
"People need to be aware of their own responsibilities to make sure they bin their litter instead of just dropping it on the floor."
The move has been welcomed by traders and community leaders.
Graham Benn, who runs DIY Solutions in Cavendish Street and is chairman of Keighley Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It's about time we got on top of the litter situation.
"No matter how many bins are provided, you get people who still think it's OK to drop their rubbish in the street.
"And you see spit on the pavements all the time. It's disgusting."
BID manager, Paul Howard, said the litter created a bad impression of the town.
"It would be nice if it was a problem we didn't have but I'm pleased the enforcement officers are going to be working here," he added.
"We don't want a dirty looking town and also it costs a lot of money to clear-up the mess."
Former town councillor Ian Dermondy, who also served as Keighley's deputy mayor, welcomes the move.
Last month, he spoke out about the extent of the town's litter problem and called for the enforcement officers to be introduced here.
"It's good that this is now happening but I'd like to see it form part of a bigger campaign," he said this week.
"The litter situation is an absolute disgrace.
"Our town is important to us, and if we have a tidy town it's something we can be proud of and something people will want to invest in.
"We need to educate people, and everybody – including retailers – has a part to play."
Keighley's MP, John Grogan, said he was pleased Bradford Council had decided to deploy its enforcement team in the town.
"A lot can be achieved through voluntary effort and education, but it is essential if we are to clean-up Keighley that there is a stick as well as a carrot available," he added.