Clause 43 - Clean-up costs

Part of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 25th 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 10:45 am, 25th January 2005

There is an issue of clean-up costs. That is a very difficult one, and yet another example of potential abuse that needs to be taken into account.

We have powers in the clause to enforce clean-up costs for those who are responsible, for those who have not secured their land, for those who have acted irresponsibly and for those who have acted illegally. I repeat that I have a great deal of sympathy with innocent victims, and in these crimes the vast majority of landowners are victims. The best way that we can help them is to have effective measures to deter such behaviour, to track the polluter down, and to prosecute and make them pay. That is how we have to deal with the problem. Hon. Members are worried that unreasonable costs will be imposed on landowners. If they are not responsible, costs will not be imposed. The way they deal with the problem will be a matter for them, and in some cases local authorities will assist them.