The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 provided authorities with a new range of powers; these are powers not duties – the extent that they are used is up to the local authority. The powers were given in response to what the sector asked for over a two year consultation period prior to the Act.
The majority of powers were commenced in April 2006 and make greater use of fixed penalty notices, with greater opportunities of the authorities to retain receipts.
The long term aim of using enforcement , as it is with education, is to reduce a particular problem over time – if this can be achieved then less money will be needed to be spent on putting problems right on the street.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act gives local authorities categorised as “excellent” or “good” under the Comprehensive Performance Assessment the freedom and flexibility to be able to spend the receipts on any function.
Outline of measures in the Act Edit
Fixed Penalty Notices (Fines) Edit
- makes greater use of fixed penalties as an alternative to prosecution, in most cases giving local authorities the flexibility to set their own rates
- gives parish councils the power to issue fixed penalties for litter, graffiti, fly posting and dog offences
Nuisance and Abandoned Vehicles Edit
- gives local authorities the power to remove abandoned cars from the streets immediately
- creates two new offences to help local authorities deal with nuisance parking: offering for sale two or more vehicles, or repairing a vehicle, on the road as part of a business.
- makes it an offence to drop litter anywhere, including private land and rivers, ponds and lakes
- gives local authorities new powers (litter clearing notices) to require businesses and individuals to clear litter from their land
- strengthens existing powers for local authorities to require local businesses to help clear up litter they generate (street litter control notices)
- enables local authorities to restrict the distribution of flyers, hand-outs and pamphlets that can end up as litter
- confirms that cigarette butts and discarded chewing gum are litter
Graffiti and fly-posting Edit
- extends graffiti removal notices (as introduced by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003) to include fly-posting
- improves local authorities powers to tackle the sale of spray paints to children
- strengthens the legislation to make it harder for beneficiaries of fly posting to evade prosecution
- enables local authorities to recover the costs of removing illegal posters
- amends provisions for dealing with fly-tipping by
- removing the defence of acting under employer’s instructions
- increasing the penalties
- enabling local authorities and the Environment Agency to recover their investigation and clear-up costs
- extending provisions on clear up to the landowner in the absence of the occupier.
- gives local authorities and the Environment Agency the power to issue fixed penalty notices (and, in the case of local authorities, to keep the receipts from such penalties)
- to businesses that fail to produce waste transfer notes
- to waste carriers that fail to produce their registration details or evidence they do not need to be registered
- for waste left out on the streets (local authority only)
- introduces a more effective system for stop, search and seizure of vehicles used in illegal waste disposal; and enabling courts to require forfeiture of such vehicles
- introduces a new provision covering the waste duty of care and the registration of waste carriers
- replaces dog byelaws with a new, simplified system which will enable local authorities and parish councils to deal with fouling by dogs, ban dogs from designated areas, require dogs to be kept on a lead and restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by one person
- gives local authorities, rather than police, sole responsibility for stray dogs (from April 2008)
- reduces nuisance caused by noise by giving local authorities to
- deal with burglar alarms
- impose fixed penalty fines on licensed premises that ignore warnings to reduce excessive noise levels
- gives local authorities greater flexibility in dealing with noise nuisance
- enables local authorities to recover the costs of dealing with abandoned shopping trolleys from their owners
- extends the list of statutory nuisances to include light pollution and nuisance for insects
- Government powers help Local Authorities get tough on litter, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, December 4 2007