PENDLE Council bosses are expected to extend a scheme where people dropping litter or failing to pick up after their dog will be fined.

In December last year, the council agreed to the appointment of District Enforcement on a 12 month pilot, which began in February.

Between February and October, District officers have issued 3506 fixed penalty notices of which 2,310 have so far been paid - totalling £196,257 - with £16,100 of that going to the council.

Around 260 have been written off or withdrawn for a variety of reasons.

The remainder are awaiting payment or have been referred for prosecution for non - payment of the FPN.

A report is due to go before the council’s policy and resources committee later this week, where members will decide whether to extend or scrap the scheme.

Corporate director, Philip Mousdale, said: "District work closely with Council staff to identify hot spot areas and assist in directing the enforcement to areas of concern.

"Whilst they spread resources to cover all parts of the borough the key focus is inevitably on heavier footfall areas and hot spot reports.

"They share the base at Fleet Street which enables monitoring of their activity on a day to basis.

"District have engaged with local voluntary and community groups who have a common interest in a cleaner borough.

"It is fair to say that the employment of District and implementation of their approach has been both welcomed by residents and has also generated adverse reaction, especially so on social media.

"General criticisms have been the concentration on instances of dropped cigarette butts, enforcement in areas such as supermarket car parks, unwillingness by the enforcement officers to accept apparently reasonable justifications for the littering and 'following' of potential offenders.

"Whilst there have been some examples of poor attitude and treatment of offenders, complaints have generally proved to be unfounded when the body camera footage has been reviewed.

"The voluntary organisation Pick Up for Pendle reports an improvement in the amount of litter dropped.

"A fundamental question members need to consider is that if the contract with District is not continued how will effective enforcement be carried out in future.

"The council’s enforcement team now has only three members of staff and in the current financial climate there is no budget to increase it.

"To replicate an internal team of the same size, equipped in the same way and with similar administrative support is estimated to cost in the region of £200,000.

"No longer having to deal with routine littering and dog fouling has meant that the team have been able to deal with 144 fly tipping reports this year compared with 44 last year.

"District have so far issued 59 FPNs for dog fouling. This compares with 13 the team were able to issue last year.

"In the circumstances, members may consider that the contract should be extended for a further 12 months again on a pilot basis and to ask officers to continue to work with District to further improve the focus and perception of the enforcement."