Anti-littering Initiative, or money-making venture?Well I'm right in the thick of this one, having been Chair of Environmental Scrutiny when the scheme was brought in.
It was intended to be a self-financing deterrent against littering.
You drop, you get fined, it gets around by word of mouth and more importantly it gets highly publicised by the political opposition.
Result - people stop doing it. (OK, the ruling administration get some stick but that's the art of it - let the opposition do your publicity for you, and then undermine them by proving that most people support the plan anyway. I know it didn't go right, due to the lack of capability of former senior councillors but that's bye-the-bye).
The key word - deterrent.
Speed cameras deter (unless you're blind or a boy racer), speed wagons detect. However, speed wagons don't maximise their revenue. Why? - because once it's spotted every driver's warning everyone else.
The objective (allegedly) is to reduce speed, the risk of accidents and the consequences of them.
Why aren't the wardens identifiable and higher profile, to deter litterers?
Is the council's revised intention to gain another source of revenue through fixed penalty fines?????
I'm going to suggest something radical, 'civil disruption'.
If anyone gets a fixed penalty I suggest the following course of action:
1) check if the warden uses a vehicle, and if so make a note of the Reg No. and contact me (this is quite important);
2) wait until you are written to by the council and invoke your right to any evidence that it has, which at the very least should be video footage;
3) if you are not aggrieved (ie. you did do it, and it was a fair cop), pay early and save yourself a few quid;
4) if you are (it was a sneaky stake out, entrapment etc) write a letter of complaint and/or contact me. There's a code of conduct and ethics that should be adhered to.
On that subject I'm going to try to embarrass the council into coming onto the straight and narrow and not use morally unacceptable practices to blight businesses and cause consternation to citizens who have to worry that genuine accidents will give the council £75 of their hard-earned cash to waste. (In fact, I'm wrong sorry. Only part of the £75 goes into the council's money pit, the other bit is the company's).
Basically, if the council, through its contractors, doesn't change its ways then it will become clogged up with requests for evidence, DPA and FOI requests, and have to bear the considerable costs of recovery if it decides to take victims of unfair practice to court.