A COUNCIL has been called upon to terminate its contract with a controversial litter enforcement company over claims it has breached its contract.

Plaid Cymru councillors want Wrexham Council to stop using Kingdom to hand out £75 littering fines with immediate effect after it was revealed that the firm currently only has one staff member working in the county.

Group leader Cllr Marc Jones said the terms of the contract state there should be between two and four operatives employed in the area.

Wrexham is now the only north Wales authority using the firm, which has been shrouded in controversy over alleged 'heavy handed' tactics, after it pulled out of similar contracts in Denbighshire, Flintshire and Conwy in July and lost contracts with Anglesey and Gwynedd councils earlier this year.

Cllr Jones, who last month put forward a motion to end the arrangement which was rejected by the executive board, said: "Today we have had confirmation from a council officer that Kingdom is not meeting the terms of the contract, which stipulates that it has between two and four operatives working in the borough.

"The company says that, due to 'recruitment issues' and 'staff leaving', there is just one operative left.

"As that is breaking the contract the company has with Wrexham Council, the contract should be terminated with the 28-day notice period."

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that 8,173 fines were paid between April 2016, when the company started operating in Wrexham, and May this year.

Of those 435 were appealed or representations made, including 130 on the grounds that they were issued to a vulnerable person, while 2,090 people were sent to court for failing to pay.

A protest is due to be held on Saturday, September 8 outside the town's Guildhall to highlight opposition to the Merseyside-based business.

The backlash against the contract has led the council to establish a task and finish group to review the situation, which is expected to report back in the autumn.

Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said the council would await the group's feedback before making a decision.

He said: "We are aware of the concerns raised by elected members and the people of Wrexham and in response the council have set up a task and finish group to consider the future delivery of enforcement services.

"The group has met and I would like to thank them for their time on this matter so far.

“The group is made up of all political parties and we are awaiting their outcomes and findings and everyone should be assured we will consider their recommendations in due course.

"In the meantime, Plaid Cymru are fully aware that we have a procurement team that manage all contracts on behalf of Wrexham Council.”

Kingdom has been approached for comment.