Fly-tipping and Litter: Fines

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th September 2018.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to impose fines for littering and flytipping.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the maximum fine for littering.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government published the Litter Strategy for England in 2017, setting out our approach of applying best practice in education, enforcement and ‘binfrastructure’ in order to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation.

The Litter Strategy sets out a number of proposals to improve enforcement against littering, including commitments to “support councils in using new powers to issue fixed penalties for small‑scale fly‑tipping offences”, and “deliver guidance to promote proportionate and responsible enforcement”. Alongside the Strategy, we also consulted on proposals to increase the fixed penalty for littering, and to give councils improved powers to take enforcement action against littering from vehicles.

Through the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group we have published guidance which sets out clearly the powers available to local authorities when tackling fly-tipping. It is the responsibility of local authorities to use the full range of enforcement powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping. The list of powers is online here: http://www.tacklingflytipping.com/Documents/NFTPG-CaseStudies/Fly-tipping-responsibilities-Guide-for-local-authorities-and-land-manage....pdf

With effect from April 2018, we have increased the maximum fixed penalty for littering from £80 to £150, and given councils in England new powers to tackle littering from vehicles. We have no plans to make further changes to the level of fixed penalties at this stage. It is for councils now to use these powers and some are already taking advantage of them.

We have also recently consulted on improved guidance on the proportionate use of these enforcement powers, which we propose to incorporate into the statutory Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. That consultation closed on 8 June and responses are currently being considered. We expect to publish the revised guidance later this year.

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