Officials welcome new measures to clean up neighborhoods
London— Local authorities
have gained greater powers to tackle fly-tipping and litter, as
the first raft of measures in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment
Act comes into force.
From June 7, fly-tipping will
become an arrestable offence, with the most serious cases resulting
in a maximum £50,000 fine or five years imprisonment.
Those caught illegally dumping
waste will also no longer be able to use the defence of ‘acting
under employer’s instructions’.
The new hard-line approach underpins
the Government’s commitment to tackle fly-tipping, as new
figures showed that an incident is occurring every 35 seconds
in the UK.
The Act also reminds people that
chewing gum and cigarette butts are litter, with penalties accordingly.
Local Environment Minister, Ben Bradshaw, said: “Gum droppers
and smokers chucking away cigarette butts can be given on the
spot fines of £50, which will soon go up to £75. So
why risk being fined when it’s so easy just to pop the butt
or your gum in the bin?”
He explained that the littering
offences have also been extended to include all open spaces -
rivers, lakes, ponds and private property - in the past it was
not an offence to drop litter on other people’s property.
“The new rules will give
Local Authorities more power to tackle environment crime, and
make everyone think about the environment around them. So I hope
they will use these new powers to deter people from dropping anything,
anywhere at any time.”
In addition to litter and fly-tipping,
the parts of the act that come into force give extra powers for
Local Authorities to deal with the sale or repair of vehicles
on the road as part of a business and fly-posting. Mr Bradshaw
added that he hoped to bring the majority of the remaining measures
of the Act in to force by April 2006.
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