Plaid councillors call for controversial firm to be axed
Plaid Cymru councillors have called for the immediate scrapping of Wrexham Council’s contract with Kingdom as the firm is in breach of the conditions.The controversial company has a two-year contract with the council for litter enforcement, which has seen thousands of people issued with Fixed Penalty Notices of Â£75 for dropping cigarette butts or paper.
The company recently pulled out of similar contracts with Denbighshire, Conwy and Flintshire Councils after it lost contracts with Ynys MÃ´n and Gwynedd Councils – leaving Wrexham as the only council in north Wales to continue to employ the firm.
The controversy surrounding the contract has meant that the council has established a Task and Finish Group to review the situation and it is expected to report back in the autumn.
Cllr Marc Jones, who last month moved a motion rejected by the Executive Board that the contract with Kingdom should be terminated, said action was needed to prevent more people being wrongfully punished and also to make sure the council protected itself from financial risk:
“There is a real risk that Kingdom’s activities could face legal challenge. If that happens, then it will be the council and not Kingdom that could become liable for any repayments. To protect the council from further financial exposure, Plaid Cymru councillors are calling for the contract to be scrapped at the earliest opportunity.
“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. They 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.”