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3GS litter wardens start patrols in Ashford and Tenterden

By Aidan Barlow

A new team of wardens has started patrolling streets in a town centre in a bid to curb the litter louts.

Ashford Borough Council has announced that private firm 3GS has taken over a contract to stop people trashing the town and flouting the rules.

The officers can issue on-the-spot £75 fines to those caught dropping rubbish or failing to clear up after their dogs.

The company has three wardens in place and they have started patrols in Ashford and Tenterden.

The litter wardens have started their patrols in Ashford
The litter wardens have started their patrols in Ashford

Their arrival follows the decision by the council not to renew the contract with Kingdom, which was embroiled in a scandal after a BBC Panorama investigation found staff were being offered financial’ bonuses’ to issue more fines.

The contract ended in September, and now the council has stressed that the new company will not be offering perks to staff who dish out more fines.

Council portfolio holder for the environment Cllr Clair Bell said: “We are committed to providing a clean and tidy borough.

“That is why we are continuing to employ a litter enforcement company to help tackle littering and other environmental blights across the borough.

Litter bins are provided throughout the town
Litter bins are provided throughout the town

“Over the past year we have seen the positive impact litter enforcement has had. Not only does the town look visibly cleaner and clearer, but residents have also been supportive of the initiative too.

“Civic pride and borough presentation is important to us, which is why we are continuing to use litter enforcement to help keep the borough looking its best for our residents, visitors and businesses.”

Wardens will wear marked uniforms similar to those of parking wardens. The uniforms will also have body cameras.

Litter at a bus stop in Ashford before the fines were brought in
Litter at a bus stop in Ashford before the fines were brought in

The enforcement is also set to be extended to flytipping and commercial waste in the next few months.

3GS managing director Paul Buttivant said: “We’d like to reassure the community that only those who choose to ignore the law will be dealt with by our officers.

“Our mission is to support local authorities across the country by providing them with an ethical, transparent, proactive and focused enforcement service.”

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