FAILURE to take action against littering and dog fouling in Wrexham can no longer continue, according to backbench politicians.

It comes after it was revealed that not a single fine has been handed out in the county since the local authority terminated its contract with a controversial external company at the end of last year

Kingdom Services was also criticised towards the end of its tenure as the amount of £75 fixed penalty notices it gave out dwindled to zero.

Members of Wrexham Council’s homes and environment scrutiny committee have now expressed their preference for an enhanced internal team of enforcement officers to be created.

However, they did not rule out the possibility of working with another outside firm or teaming up with other North Wales councils in the future.

Speaking at the town’s Guildhall, Cllr Alun Jenkins (Lib Dem) said maintaining the status quo was no longer a choice.

He said: “Now that we haven’t got Kingdom it would seem we’re not taking any action with regards to littering and dog fouling.

“I don’t think that can be the case, can it?

“There needs to be not just the enforcement side, but the education side as well.”

A report by the council’s lead member for environment highlighted the estimated £1.2 million cost of cleaning up litter in Wrexham.

Cllr David A Bithell (Ind) said the actual figure could be much larger though since the authority took on responsibility for tidying grass verges on the A483.

He said it did not receive any money for managing rubbish on the dual carriageway, but described drivers throwing litter as a daily occurrence.

Cllr Bithell said: “The reality is by the actions of other people by disposing of litter inappropriately, there’s a cost to picking it up.

“The £1.2m was derived with the staffing structure at that time.

“I personally think that the cost is a lot more than that now as that was then and the reality is the pressures have grown.

“Every day someone is either seen or reported throwing things out of vehicles.”

One suggestion put forward was for the council to encourage drivers who own dash cameras to submit footage of people who litter to help punish them.

Officers revealed the possibility was currently being explored by the Welsh Government.

Labour group leader Dana Davies questioned whether the committee was in a position to choose a new model after claiming there was ‘a lack of information’ in the report.

Cllr Carrie Harper (Plaid) also wanted members to rule out working with an outside company.

However, other councillors disagreed and warned against delaying the decision.

Cllr John Phillips (Ind) said: “Wrexham is crying out for enforcement for dog fouling and litter, it’s everywhere.

“It’s virtually a free for all at the moment. We need enforcement and we need it soon.”

The majority voted in favour of choosing the creation of an enhanced team of council enforcement officers as their preferred option.

Cllr Bithell said it could take up to nine months for the new service to be put in place, but funding would also need to be found.

While other authorities in Flintshire and Denbighshire have opted not to work jointly at present, councillors asked for the possibility to be kept open.

They also tasked officers with exploring the options of creating an arm’s length company to carry out enforcement or finding another external firm.