New clause 30 - Zero waste strategy

Part of Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 10th April 2003.

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Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment) 3:30 pm, 10th April 2003

The Government do have the courage to introduce legislation. It is called the Anti-social Behaviour Bill, and I shall come to it. However, it is not as though provisions are not already in place. It is often the exercise of provisions that is lacking. We already have legislation to deal with fly tipping. The key provisions are to be found in part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and in the Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978. Other relevant primary legislation includes the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, the Public Health Act 1961 and the Highways Act 1980.

Some of those provisions may need to be amended, but one has only to read out a list of legislation to discover that the real problem is that it is not being used to anywhere near its full extent. It is not being policed; no one is detecting or apprehending those who are behaving badly; and when they are caught the penalties are not sufficient. The problem is not a lack of law; it is a lack of readiness and determination to do something about it. This is a cross-party issue. I cannot believe that any serious political party is not wholly behind us. The Anti-social Behaviour Bill—

Norman Baker rose—