Conwy Council will look at different ways to enforce its littering rules after controversial firm Kingdom pulled out of the county.

A report before councillors blamed media coverage for the public turning against the controversial firm.

It said the public had lost faith in Kingdom staff after allegedly heavy-handed tactics used by the firm had been highlighted in the press.

Members of the council’s economy and place scrutiny committee, meeting on Wednesday, will review the setting up of a task and finish group to deal with the problem.

The move follows an announcement from Kingdom Security to stop working in Conwy. The firm, which handed out fines for littering and dog fouling, had become unpopular after concerns about how it dealt with the public.

Fears had also been raised by councillors that the firm was targeting areas like Llandudno where it was easier to make more money rather than enforce the rules in more rural areas.

The report said: “There are many public misconceptions about enforcement activity against littering and related offences.

“Media coverage of enforcement activity, such as the recent Panorama programme ‘Inside the Litter Police’ often focuses on enforcement activity which is perceived as disproportionate, which undermines public confidence in its legitimacy.

“As a result of this publicity, some people/groups have chosen to listen to this particular narrative.”

Last month the council’s cabinet voted to offer a nine month contract extension to the firm rather than the one year offer that had been recommended by officers at the time.

Members of the cabinet wanted to use that time to consider what alternative arrangements could be put in place to deal with littering. But Kingdom refused the offer and their time with the council was due to come to an end this week.

A task and finish group will be set up to look at what arrangements can be used to replace the firm.

These include using council staff to enforce litter rules, having no enforcement at all, tendering a contract to the private sector or work with other councils to run a service across the region.

Work by the group is expected to finish by April 1 after which a report on its findings will be presented to the committee and the cabinet. The report added: 

“Enforcement must be exercised in such a way as to uphold public confidence in a fair judicial system.

"A review of the different potential environmental enforcement service models and arrangements will take place to enable the council to determine what, if any, arrangements it should put in place for environmental enforcement.

"Consideration will be given as far as possible to both local and regional arrangements.”