Statement to the Court
Complaint for a Litter Abatement Order
Silverman vs Sec Of State for Transport8th June 2011
I was disappointed to note on my way to today’s hearing that the verges of the slip roads to j1 of the M40 were defaced by litter. It had been my hope that the defendant, the Secretary of State for Transport, would have ensured that they were brought up to standard in time for the hearing and thus obviate the need for a Litter Abatement Order.
I recognise that the defendant’s contractors have carried clean-ups since the adjourned hearing on 9th May. However their standard and frequency has meant that compliance with the requirements of S 89 1 of the Environmental Protection Act has been only temporary.
I am however consoled by that fact that these clean ups would not have taken place had I not made my complaint to the court in the first place. The Highways Agency had previously stated that they had no plans to clean two of the four slip roads until August.
I had pointed out in my complaint that these slip roads are only targeted to be cleaned twice a year. This situation is of course intolerable. The question for me is to how best to remedy this state of affairs.
I have for some time been in correspondence with Mike Penning MP, the Under-secretary of State for Transport with special responsibility for the motorways, about motorway litter. In March 2010 he had described our motorways as being blighted by litter.
He had offered me, together with a representative from the Campaign to Protect Rural England who share my concerns about the motorway litter, the opportunity to meet with senior officials in the Department of Transport and the Highways Agency. I had written to him on 12th May to expedite the meeting. Today, at 11.00 am, I received a letter from him dated 7th June in response.
In it he says that saying that “.. our legal advice is that any meeting should be held once the court case has been resolved. It is considered that it would be much more productive for all parties…”. A copy of his letter is attached.
I feel it would be in the best interests of all concerned that I engage with the Dft and HA as soon as possible. In view of the likely delay, October I believe was mentioned, I have therefore decided not to pursue a contested hearing.
Please note that this is my only reason. I contend that the area is defaced by litter and the defendant has failed to comply with his duties under S89 1 of the EPA.
I therefore wish to apply to the court for my costs under EPA S91 12 on the grounds that when the complaint was made the area was defaced by litter and there were reasonable grounds for making the complaint.
A revised schedule of costs is attached.