‘Lier police’ contract ceases after TV furore

THE contract with Maidstone’s heavily-criticised litter wardens has been ceased by mutual agree- ment. It follows a meeting with King-

dom Security, a company recently featured in a Panorama investiga- tion into bonus payments that saw wardens in the town briefly sus- pended before being allowed to re- turn to work. Maidstone Borough Council -

which hired the private firm - was blasted by critics after Downs Mail revealed Kingdom derived most of its cash by targeting smokers in Maidstone. The statement read: “Maidstone Borough Council and Kingdom Se- curity have come to a mutual deci- sion not to extend the current contract. Kingdom Security has been providing enforcement serv- ices in relation to littering in the bor- ough since 2011 but this will cease at the end of this month (August).“ The decisionwas made following

a meeting held on August 1. The council’s head of environment and public realm, Jennifer Shepherd,

Litter contract |News

Warden work to return in-house

MAIDSTONE Borough Council will in future be using its ownwar- dens to issue litter fines as well as tackling antisocial behaviour, street drinking, begging, dog-fouling. They will operate the MBC Pub-

lic Space Protection Order (PSPO) initiative and will not receive per- formance bonuses. A spokesman said: “We’re look-

ing at new ways of enforcement and the specific areas they will cover following the cessation of the Kingdom contract. The PSPO will operate in conjunction with the po- lice.

“In-house officers will continue

said: “When our contract began with Kingdom our focus was very much on targeting littering and irre- sponsible dog ownership. Our focus has to change and adapt to new challengeswe are seeing in the bor- ough. All options will be explored and that includes retendering for a new enforcement contract or bring- ing the service in-house.” Kingdom’s methods came under close scrutiny in the BBC investiga-

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tion and led to furious criticism from locals who questioned MBC’s moral responsibilty for taking 50% of the fine cash. Ukip borough councillor Eddie

Powell, whowas a critic of the litter wardens, said: “The council appears to have made the right decision. There were a lot people locally un- happy with the way these guys went about their business and it could have backfired badly.”

to enforce and issue FPNs for any litter and dog fouling breaches until such time a decision is reached in terms of long term en- forcement. Revenue will continue to be generated and re-invested into the cleansing service. The date is to be confirmed butwe anticipate we will see enforcement of the PSPO from September 2017. They will continue with litter and dog fouling enforcement duties from August 31 until a final decision on future enforcement. “The team of in-house officers is employed directly byMBCwill not be part of any performance related payment scheme.”

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