A furious councillor has accused his local authority of acting as if it was Groundhog Day after it moved to bring in another private company to police litter bugs.

Councillors in Denbighshire will be asked to approve a new tendering process to replace Kingdom Services after the litter enforcement firm pulled out of the county last summer.

In 2012 the company had been given the contract to hand out fines to people spotted dropping litter, walking their dogs in prohibited areas and for failing to to pick up dog poo.

But staff at the firm came in for criticism from members of the public and county councillors over they way they operated.

There had been complaints raised across North Wales over the tactics used by staff from the firm with people saying they felt intimidated by Kingdom officers.

Concerns were also raised about the types of offences and areas where the company operated, with higher numbers of fines being handed out on the Denbighshire coast then further inland.

During 2017 dropped cigarette butts accounted for 76% of all fines levied, whereas littering made up just 3% and dog fouling was 1.9% of the tickets handed out by Kingdom.

Now the council wants to find a replacement for the firm and members of the partnerships scrutiny committee have been tasked with approving a tendering process to do so.

However Denbigh county councillor, Glenn Swingler, is angry that the choice of having an in-house council run service is not an option.

He has argued that money could be saved by using council staff and by keeping all of the money raised from fines in the county rather than paying an outside firm.

He said: “Denbighshire County Council plans to replace one outsourced, profit making company with another outsourced, profit making company and it’s utter nonsense. It’s extremely difficult to catch dogs doing their business on camera and there is no money to be made in education. None of this is costing anything for council so how are the company going to make a profit? Its Groundhog Day. Keep this within Denbighshire and let’s do it properly.”

A report to councillors on the partnerships scrutiny committee, which will discuss the new contract on Thursday, said: “There will be an expectation that enforcement officers will be specifically targeting dog fouling and dog control, and undertaking specific duties to achieve this. However, whilst undertaking those duties, officers will be able to enforce against other crimes such as littering.”

Denbighshire did look into working with neighbouring councils to provide their own enforcement service but officers said that they felt this would not work.

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “The proposals focus on dog fouling, dog control and littering, with an emphasis on engagement and education.

“We want to continue the downward trend of environmental crime in the county and continue to keep our streets clean and tidy for residents.

“Enforcement officers will be asked to target dog fouling and dog control and whilst undertaking those duties, officers will be able to enforce against other crimes such as littering.

“Officers will be deployed on an intelligence led approach and be sent to areas where the highest levels of complaints originate from or where there is evidence of individuals disregarding legislation and committing offences. This will include working with colleagues in environmental services to share information and to identify fouling hotspots.”