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Litter fund welcomed but drivers must be tackled says LGA

Katie Coyne07/09/2017 - 10:31

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Powers needed to prevent littering from cars
Powers needed to prevent littering from cars

Councils must be given powers to fine people who litter when driving says LGA following news that almost half a million pounds has been allocated to tackling litter.

The LGA welcomed news that Defra has set up a Litter Innovation Fund with almost £500,000 for community projects aimed at anti-littering.

However, it wants local authorities to be given the powers to fine the owners of vehicles that litter when driving. It added that flytipping and littering costs council taxpayers £1bn in annual clean up costs.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Environment spokesman said: ‘We would now urge Government to build further on this encouraging step and hand councils the powers they need to rid communities of litter. 

‘This includes enacting rules to allow councils to fine the owners of vehicles who litter when driving. Currently, the law states that councils have to prove who in the vehicle has thrown the litter out the window, which is an impossible task.’

Money spend on cleaning up the country’s streets could be spent on other community assets. Yet stats quoted by Defra found that at least one in five people admitted to littering in the past.

Defra said the funding will go towards a raft of initiatives including behavioural research for better positioned bins and recycling points, to digital technology such as apps and smart bins that send alerts when they need to be emptied. 

Projects will be measured and evaluated and the most successful rolled out more widely.

Some £45,000 from the fund will be ring fenced for projects addressing marine littering and to help prevent plastics from ending up in the ocean.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey, said: ‘Tackling the litter that blights streets across our country is an important part of our drive to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.’

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton, said: ‘Innovation is vital if we are to change the behaviour of the minority of people who still think it is OK to drop their rubbish on the ground for someone else to pick up.’


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