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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Privatised Environment Enforcement

I see that a proposal to have a private company enforcing anti littering and other environment enforcement rules has been called in.  In the past this area has caused controversy, although there may have been an element of political convenience to such objections. 

The proposed new approach goes in a rather more authoritarian direction than when I was Lead Member.  Previously, the Council put the emphasis on helping people reduce or avoid waste _ for instance through the bulky item service.  My other main worry about such a scheme would be whether the fines will actually pay for the service, and whether that may lead to perverse incentives to enforce where hard line enforcement is over the top.  Experience with parking and traffic fines is that they rapidly diminish as people change their behaviour.  If they don't diminish in the case of environment enforcement that would suggest that the policy is ineffective. 

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