Clause 38 - Failure to produce authority: fixed penalty notices

Part of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 20th January 2005.

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Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Environment and Agri-Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:15 pm, 20th January 2005

I have always had a great deal of sympathy with the argument that there is a case for fines to go back to the prosecuting authority as part of the funding of enforcement. There are counter-arguments, and I shall outline those to the hon. Lady.

First, the hon. Lady claims that there is an inconsistency between the way in which the Environment Agency and local authorities are treated. The argument is that the Environment Agency is an arm of central Government and is therefore funded by grant in aid. That grant in aid has gone up considerably. I thought that the hon. Lady was a bit hard on the Environment Agency. There will always be an argument about resources. No one in any Department, Government agency or other division ever gets the amount they really want. Nevertheless, the spend is rising for the Environment Agency, in recognition of its range of responsibilities.