Extract from e-mail of 12th April 2017 to Chris Preston – DEFRA Deputy Director Waste and Recycling

You kindly sent me a link to Fly-tipping responsibilities: Guide for local authorities and land managers produced by the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group.   I have read it through. Here are my immediate observations:

Misrepresentation of the EPA S89(1) duty

On page 9 it says: “Under Part 4 of EPA 90 “principal litter authorities” must ensure, so far as is practicable, clearance of litter and refuse from “relevant land” (section 89(1) (c))”

This is a significant misrepresentation of EPA S89(1). The duty is to ensure, so far as is practicable, the land is kept clear of litter and litter and refuse.

Clearances must therefore be sufficiently frequent to keep  the land clear rather than being carried out whenever the duty body, or his contractor, decides it is appropriate.

Extract from reply of 9th May 2017 from Ministerial Contact unit:

We have noted your comments on the NFTPG website guidance.


The new Litter Strategy for England (April 2017) jointly authored by these three departments make no reference to the EPA S89 duty in its 80 pages.

By Highways England

Extract from e-mail to Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the DfT 1st March 2017

Remarkedly the duty (EPA S89) is not spelt out in HE’s 6 page Litter Strategy. It says which roads the duty applies to without saying what the duty is. In a recent e-mail to a complainant HE stated that under the EPA they are responsible for the “removal of litter” and that their Litter Strategy sets out a vision for keeping motorways free of litter as far as is “reasonably possible”. A duty to “remove litter” could be satisfied by a clearance every two years. “Practicable” has morphed into “reasonably possible”.

Extract from the  reply of 27th March 2017 from Jayesh Patel – DfT Road Investment Strategy, Futures Division

EPA S89 duty and Highways England’s Litter Strategy: Highways England’s litter strategy is a high level document. Its focus is on customer service, recognising Highways England needs to do more to achieve its vision and improve customer satisfaction through influencing littering behaviour.

By the DfT

House of Commons 30th Mar 2017:

Helen Whately MP Conservative, Faversham and Mid Kent:  What steps is my hon. Friend taking to ensure that Highways England fulfils its statutory duty to keep Kent’s roads clean?

Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport): It has a duty to adhere to the code of practice on litter and refuse, which is part of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and we monitor that very carefully.

Wrong – the duty is to comply with EPA S89 (see above). The Code of Practice is merely a consideration. See Why the Litter Code of Practice is not fit for purpose

Peter Silverman
15th June 2017



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