Your Councillors


Agenda item

National Strategy for England 2017

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm which related to a Litter Strategy for England 2017.

It was noted that in April 2017 the Government launched a new Litter Strategy for England with an ambition to be “the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than it found it”. 

The report detailed the further information that had been received from the Government which set out three key areas of focus which were:

·  Clear and consistent anti-litter message

·  Improve enforcement against offenders

·  Cleaning up the Country

The Officer detailed the ways in which the Council was already working to these initiatives.

The Committee noted that the Strategy highlighted an area where the Council had had difficulty tackling before which was litter being thrown from vehicles, where enforcement had been difficult unless a clear description could be given of the offender.  Legislation had been proposed which would enable local authorities to take enforcement action against the registered keeper of vehicles from which litter was proven to originate.  The guidance is expected to come forward in January/February 2018.

In October 2017 the Government announced new steps to be introduced for littering following completion of the public consultation.

The announcement included that from April 2018 the maximum on the spot fine local authorities could issue for dropping litter would nearly double from £80 to £150.  The minimum fine would increase from £50 to £65, whilst the default fine would increase from £75 to £100.

It was also noted that for the first time, local authorities outside of London would also be able to apply these penalties for littering to vehicle owners if it could be proved litter was thrown from the car, even if it was discarded by someone else.

 

The Head of Environment and Public Realm also drew Members’ attention to the available options as set out in the report which were to:-

 

Option 1 – note the actions proposed by Government in the Litter Strategy for England but take no specific action to change the approach to engagement or enforcement in Maidstone and to leave the FPN at £80.

Option 2 – to increase the value of the FPN to the maximum of £150 for littering, including from vehicles.

 

Option 3 – to increase the value of the FPN to £120 for littering, including from vehicles as a proportionate penalty and offer a reduced charge of £90 for early payment (within 14 days) of the FPN.

In response to questions from Members, the Head of Environment and Public Realm advised:-

 

·  That the contract with Kingdom had been terminated and the Waste Crime Team were now carrying out the work.  A recruitment process would be carried out in January 2018 to appoint two Enforcement Officers and this would be for an initial trial period of 18 months and that they would be employed directly by the Council and would receive no incentives or bonuses for the amount of fines issued. 

·  That the new Enforcement Officers would not just be working in the town centre, they would carry out enforcement action across the Borough.

·  An anti-littering sculpture would be put up to encourage people not to litter.  This was a new initiative instead of putting up signs which people get used to and ignore.

·  That Officers were continuing to work with local takeaways to minimise the amount of litter on the streets and great successes have already been had with companies such as McDonalds who sweep up their own area outside the restaurant to keep it litter free.

·  It would not be a good idea for incentives to be given to those providing footage from their dashcams of litter being thrown from cars

·  That Officers would investigate reports of the refuse vehicles leaving behind rubbish as they should return to pick it up.

 

RESOLVED: 

1.  That the national actions for the Litter Strategy for England 2017
  be noted and that the continuation of local actions as set in
  Appendix A to the report be supported.

2.  That the current Fixed Penalty Notice be increased from £80 to
  £120.

3.  That the offer of a reduced charge of £90 for the early payment
  (within 14 days) of a Fixed Penalty Notice for Littering be agreed.

  Voting:  For:  unanimous

 

Supporting documents:

 

Our A-Z

If you cannot find what you are looking for in our search facility, you can use our A-Z index to find the service you require.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z