Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:37 pm on 10th January 2005.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:37 pm, 10th January 2005

There has been general and wide consultation on the issue, but if the hon. Gentleman will bear with me I shall say a little more about dogs later.

The measures in this Bill respond directly to what local authorities and others told us in the consultation about obstacles to the enforcement of existing legislation, why some provisions are difficult to use, and about the changes that are needed if authorities are to tackle antisocial behaviour and environmental problems effectively. The Bill gives them the new powers and better tools for which they asked. It also gives new powers to parish councils so that the most local level of our democratic structures can play a part in making things better. Again, that recognises that there are problems in rural areas and that the best chance of tackling them is to empower parish councils to act in their own locality.