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Principal Litter Authority

On September 17, 2011, in Legislation, Local Authorities, by PeterSilverman

What is a Principal Litter Authority?

In summary it would seem that:

Local authorities are PLAs.
Land is relevant land of a PLA if it is open to the air,  under their control to which the public have accessl but is  not a highway.
The offence of leaving litter under EPA S87  applies to any place in the area of a PLA
A PLA, other than an English county council, is a litter authority for the purposes of EPA S 88 Fixed Penalty Notices for leaving litter.
A PLA has a duty under  EPA S89 1(c)   to keep its relevant land  clear of litter ( ie not its highways but these are covered in S89 1 (a))
A PLA, other than an English county council,  can  take proceedings under EPA S92 to issue Litter Abatement Notices in respect to littered Crown land, the land of  educational institutions and designated statutory undertakers. (Now repealed)
A PLA  can  serve a notice (a ‘litter clearing notice’) in relation to any land in its area which is open to the air under EPA S92 A i.e in respect to private lan (Now repealed)



EPA S 86:
(2) says in England and Wales the following are principal litter authorities:

a) a county council,
aa) a county borough council,
b) a district council,
c) a London borough council,
d) the Common Council of the City of London, and
e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

but the Secretary of State may, by order, designate other descriptions of local authorities as litter authorities for the purposes of this Part; and any such authority shall also be a principal litter authority.
(3) In Scotland the following are ‘principal litter authorities’:
a) a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 and
c) a joint board.
4) Subject to subsection (8) below, land is ‘relevant land’ of a principal litter authority if, not being relevant land falling within subsection (7) below, it is open to the air and is land (but not a highway or in Scotland a public road) which is under the direct control of such an authority to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access with or without payment.
8) The Secretary of State may, by order, designate descriptions of land which are not to be treated as relevant Crown land or as relevant land of principal litter authorities, of designated statutory undertakers or of designated educational institutions or of any description of any of them.
EPA S87  Offence of leaving litter:
(2) This section applies to any place in the area of a principal litter authority which is open to the air, subject to subsection (3) below
EPA S 88 Fixed Penalty Notices for leaving litter
(1) Where on any occasion an authorised officer of a litter authority finds a person who he has reason to believe has on that occasion committed an offence under section 87 above in the area of that authority, he may give that person a notice offering him the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for that offence by payment of a fixed penalty.
(9) For the purposes of this section the following are ‘litter authorities’:
a) any principal litter authority, other than an English county council…or a joint board;
EPA S89    Duty to keep land and highways clear of litter
(1) It shall be the duty of:
c) each principal litter authority, as respect its relevant land, to ensure that the land is, so far as is practicable, kept clear of litter and refuse.
EPA S92 Summary proceedings by litter authorities
(1) Where a principal litter authority other than an English county council… or  a joint board are satisfied as respects:
a) any relevant Crown land,
b) any relevant land of a designated statutory undertaker, or
c) any relevant land of a designated educational institution,
that it is defaced by litter or refuse or that the defacement of it by litter or refuse is likely to recur, the authority  shall serve a notice (a ‘litter abatement notice’) imposing either the requirement or the prohibition specified in subsection (2) below
(1) A principal litter authority may in accordance with this section serve a notice (a ‘litter clearing notice’) in relation to any land in its area which is open to the air
EPA S93 Street litter control notices
(1) A principal litter authority other than an English county council… or a joint board may, with a view to the prevention of accumulations of litter or refuse in and around any street or open land adjacent to any street, issue notices (‘street litter control notices’) imposing requirements on occupiers of premises in relation to such litter or refuse, in accordance with this section and section 94 below
Local highway authority

In areas with single tier (“unitary”) authorities this is the local council. In two-tier areas (i.e. where there are district councils and a county council), it is the county council that is the local highway authority.In London, for those roads that form the London strategic route network (LSRN) the local highway authority is Transport for London, otherwise it is the London Borough Council.

For motorways and trunk roads the highway authority is the Highways Agency


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