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Government Minister’s comments on the use of  contractors Xfor for issuing on-the-spot litter fines implies acceptance of Manifesto Club criticisms without proper evaluation.

Brandon Lewis is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

See his statement in Parliament

He has by implication criticised this practice by saying:

However, councils should not be using residents as cash cows and should not be persecuting people for petty or insignificant breaches.

It is not in the public interest to issue a fixed penalty notice where there is not clear evidence that the individual intended to cause litter.

Enforcement action is better targeted at problem areas, rather than applied across a whole local authority area.

However I would make the following observations:

There is no such thing as petty or insignificant littering.

How can you provide clear evidence that an individual intended to cause litter other than by waiting a few moments, as I believe is the current practice, to see if he  picks it up before apprehending him.

Why does the Minister think enforcement is not targeted at problem areas?

It would appear that is that the Government has made no assessment of the issue.  (My Department has not made an official assessment). This is not surprising as DEFRA has only have 1 person working full time on street scene matters i.e. littering, dog fouling, fly tipping and graffiti. Does the Department for Communities and Local Government have any I wonder?

Please refer to my de-bunking of the Manifesto Club report

All posts on Fixed Penalty Notices

 Peter Silverman
1st March 2013

 

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