Clause 21 - Street litter control notices

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 20th January 2005.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Minister (Transport)

Will the Minister consider adding office buildings to the list of types of land to which street litter control notices will apply under sections 93 and 94 of the 1990 Act? Concerns have been raised with us about the cost of clearing street furniture and litter by local authorities and others obliged to do so.

A person commits an offence in relation to street litter control notices only if he fails to comply with an order of the magistrates court. Is the Minister saying that referral to a magistrates court would no longer be required? If there is no application to a magistrates court, will there be any possibility of appealing?

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 10:30 am, 20th January 2005

I understand the hon. Lady's point, but I am not sure that this is the appropriate time to discuss further extension of the provision. The clause deals specifically with street litter control notices. It extends the application of such notices under sections 93 and 94 of the 1990 Act to cover vehicles, stalls and other moveable structures used for commercial or retail purposes. It has arisen from the experience of local authorities, because previously those provisions applied only to fixed premises and adjacent open land. Obviously it was an anomaly that someone could drive a vehicle on to the street and would not be covered by the provisions. I hope that the hon. Lady accepts that the clause clears that up.

The clause removes the requirement for litter authorities to seek a court order. The previous system required a court order, which in turn required compliance with such a notice. It will now immediately be an offence to fail to comply with the requirements in the notice without reasonable excuse. It is clear that that will be welcomed by local authorities because it will greatly streamline their capacity to get on with the job, which is what everyone wants.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 21 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 25 and 26 ordered to stand part of the Bill.