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Agenda item

Neighbourhood Enforcement Team

Meet Michelle Watling and find out about the roles of the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers

Minutes:

Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer Michelle Watling (MW) updated the meeting on the work undertaken by her team.

 

MW explained that she was the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer for the area of Haxby and Wigginton and that she was part of the Community Safety Team for City of York Council (CYC).   The team was originally called the Anti Social Behaviour Team.   The present team was created a couple of years ago as a result of the new Anti Social Behaviour Act.

 

Her role dealt with certain aspects of the Anti Social Behaviour Act, including rubbish; fly tipping, blocked drains, horses, dogs and travellers as well as many other issues.   The Team was currently taking exams to pass a community accredited training course and following this accreditation the Team will limit some powers.

 

understood that there were particular issues in the ward with dog fouling.   She explained that due to budget restraints the team has been reduced and some bins removed. However, bins were emptied on a regular basis, at least once a week and twice a week in the summer months.  There were issues in some areas where bins were full and therefore people threw the bags elsewhere.

 

Dog walkers are responsible for clearing up after their dogs and could be given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) and required to pay between £50 and £100. However FPN would not result in a criminal record.  Should they refuse to pay this FPN however then they would be taken to court resulting in a possible fine of £1000.  A witness statement could also be used in the issuing of an FPN.   If people were aware of who was doing this they should report the matter and it would be followed up by the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer who would then send the offender an enforcement letter.     Most cases of dog fouling would be covered under the Act but not on woodlands, farmland and heaths. 

 

Q How many people have been fined for littering by CYC?

 

A MW said not many people had been fined as you have to see them in the act.

 

Q This needs to be publicised as people need to be reported for littering in the same way as dog fouling

 

A Up until recently there were only four in the team.  We now have nine people but some of them are still in training.  Littering patrols are to begin again but fines cannot be issued unless the perpetrator is actually seen littering.   They were currently awaiting information as to how this will be enforced but anyone reporting littering by phone will be given a registration number and the complaint will be followed up.

 

Q Litter is concentrated in two or three particular areas.  Is there any possibility of setting up CCTV.

 

A Yes I am aware of a couple of areas in this ward for example Corban Lane, Moor Lane and also the Towthorpe Road. Unfortunately the Team has no mobile CCTV equipment.

 

Q In respect of the picking up and clearing of litter what is the best way of getting the message across.  Haxby Council’s tax payers have this carried out every day.   I see no reason why Wigginton tax payers should not pay a small amount extra on their council tax to pay for the same service.

A Cllr Richardson said that this may be something that the people of Wigginton take up with their Parish Council as alternatives are now in place to volunteer.  If anyone knows anybody who might be interested  please have a word with the Community Involvement Officer, Helen Jarvis-Ong on 01904 554123 or email her at Helen.Jarvis-Ong@york.gov.uk.  

 

Q MW said that with regard to fly tipping the Team will go through the rubbish and anything that gives us information as to who the perpetrator may be is followed up.

 

Q Catherine Prince who runs the Oaken Grove Youth Club said that their Community Centre had issues with broken bottles and youths drinking and asked if there was anything that MW’s team could do about this issue and had been reported

 

A If these incidents are happening out of hours then we would ask the PCSO’s to keep an eye on the situation.

 

Q  There used to be travellers horses tethered between Haxby and Towthorpe but they are no longer there and as a result the grass is getting very high. 

 

A MW said that in respect of the length of the grass this is a Highways Department issue and you would need to contact them directly.   Our Team cannot do anything about the grass cutting but I am aware that some farmers will cut the grass when doing the hedges.    The same applies to mud on the road, please contact the Highways Department.

 

Q Cllr Richardson asked whether dog fouling could be enforced on the open fields in each parish.

 

A Yes parish land falls into the confines of the law.  If the parishes are happy for our Team to do this please let me know the areas and I will share them with my colleagues.

 

Cllr Richardson thanked MW for her update.

 


 

 

Q

Cllr Richardson asked whether dog fouling could be enforced on the open fields in each parish.

 

 

A

Yes parish land falls into the confines of the law.  If the parishes are happy for our Team to do this please let me know the areas and I will share them with my colleagues.

 

 

Cllr Richardson thanked MW for her update.

 

 

 

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