A MAN hired by a firm to help stamp out issues with dog mess and litter has blasted the decision to scrap the initiative after it left him out of work.
Russell Collins got a job at 3GS after the company was picked provisionally earlier this year to issue fines to people in Portsmouth who dropped rubbish and didn’t clean up after pets.
But when the Tories took over the council in June, it decided not to award 3GS a contract due to potential costs involved.
The firm was unaware there would be any change in plans, and went ahead hiring four staff for the project and training them before awaiting confirmation from the council of an official start date.
Mr Collins, 48, of North End, and the rest of his team were then sacked after 3GS was later told it was no longer required.
‘We are disgusted by this,’ he said.
‘We gave up other posts and options to take on that job.’
Mr Collins did two weeks of training, in which time he realised there was a huge problem with dog mess and litter which needs addressing.
‘When you look around, no-one is doing anything about the situation,’ he said.
A letter from the council was sent to 3GS on June 17 stipulating the Tories didn’t want to pursue the scheme –when employees had already been hired. The letter was sent prior to the cabinet making its decision public on June 26.
Lib Dem councillor Darren Sanders, who campaigned for 3GS to be taken on, said he was appalled by the situation.
‘The decision has left people who were keen to clean up our streets in the lurch, and that’s a real shame,’ he said.
Paul Buttivant, owner of 3GS, said he is still waiting on a proper explanation for the U-turn – and might make a claim against the council for money spent on staff and equipment.
‘There is some consideration being made to recover our costs,’ he said. ‘No justification has been given as to why the contract wasn’t awarded.’
Cllr Donna Jones, Tory leader of the council, said it was disappointing jobs had been lost.
‘If staff were employed because the owner was anticipating the contract being awarded that is a disappointment, and he did so at his own risk.’ she said.
She reiterated that the Lib Dems did not go through a proper procurement process for the contract, as said by council officers.