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Campaign for Freedom of Information

On March 11, 2019, in Freedom of Information, by PeterSilverman
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Their report shows that public bodies and the Information Commissioner are both falling down on the job.

Apart from the occasional Decision Notice there are now few practical repercussions for authorities which consistently fail to meet FOI time limits.

 

The Campaign for Freedom of Information (CFO) was set up in 1984. It played a key role in bringing about the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It now works to defend and improve the FOI Act, advise the public about their rights to information. It is funded entirely by individual donations and grants. Continue reading »

 

A27 Clean Up Campaign

On March 6, 2019, in APTRs, Highways England, by PeterSilverman
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I am pleased to support this new campaign

Link to the campaign’s Facebook page

The A27 is a Highways England trunk road where 7 different local authorities have the statutory duty to keep their sections clear of  litter

Clean Highways have been campaigning to get Highways England to take over that responsibility so that the same contractor cuts the grass and picks up the litter.

A litter removal crew – protected by blocking vehicles – could then work their way from end to end on a regular basis.

See Cleansing of Highways England’s truck roads

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Householders must ensure that household waste is properly disposed of.
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This is the service road / rear pedestrian entrance into Waitrose in Ruislip, HA4 7DS. It’s off Kingsend – the road I live in.

Its wonderful to have a Waitrose so handy but this access is invariably a mess.

In 2016 /2017 on approximately 10 occasions I asked the duty manager to take a look at it with me.   It was never the same person. They always promised to sort it out but never did.

I gave up complaining and started to take the odd photograph when I was passing.  The three plastic floor tiles shown below were in situ on 17th November 2017. They were still there on 3rd February 2019 – 15 months later.

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A major contributor to roadside litter, particularly on motorways, are spillages from skip lorries and bulk waste transporters.

This 30 second video shows what is happening on a regular basis.

The operating company is committing an offence under Environmental Protection Act S34 (1) – Duty of care etc as respects waste

However, as we shall see, the two bodies who should be prosecuting offenders, namely the Environment Agency and Highways England, are not doing so.. So nothing is done.

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There is no reason why Highways England cannot prosecute individuals who commit Environmental Protection Act S87 –  leaving litter  and S34 – Duty of care as respects waste (e.g. for refuse falling from waste transport vehicles) offences.

Anyone can prosecute

The Environmental Protection Act makes no reference as to who can and cannot prosecute the offences it lays down. This is because under English Common Law, apart from some specific offences reserved for the Director of Public Prosecutions anyone can prosecute  any offence.  Here are the relevant sections of The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985: Continue reading »

 

The Office of Rail & Road are the statutory monitor of Highways England

In this e-mail from ORR of 15th February 2017  they stated that “assessing Highways England’s compliance with the specific provisions in s.89 is outside the scope of ORR’s functions”.

All posts on the ORR

Peter Silverman
24th January 2019

 

Summary of government’s Litter Strategy

On January 18, 2019, in DEFRA, Litter Strategy, by PeterSilverman
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This is how DEFRA summarised the Litter Strategy  for England on page 91 of their 25 year Environment Plan

Reducing litter and littering

The Litter Strategy for England sets out our aim to clean up the country and cut both litter and littering behaviours by means of better education, enforcementand ‘binfrastructure’ (the design, numberand location of public litter bins and so on).

The Litter Strategy also sets out a compelling economic case for all businesses to invest in anti-litter activities– perhaps by adopting voluntary measures that aim to increase recycling and reduce litter, or through product design, behavioural research and investment in campaigns. We will also work with relevant industries to tackle particular red flags such as discarded fast-food packaging, smoking-related litter and chewing gum.

We will deliver a new national anti-litter campaign and work on developing a culture that teaches young people not to litter.

We will take stronger action against those who litter. Subject to parliamentary approval, new regulations will give councils outside London the power to fine keepers of vehicles from which litter is thrown, and we have laid new regulations to increase fixed penalties for littering and related offences. We will provide improved guidance on the appropriate and proportionate use of these powers, and encourage councils to be transparent about enforcement activity.

Finally, we will seek to improve the infrastructure in place for people to dispose of litter. Working with Highways England we will tackle litter on the Strategic Road Network and update the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse to clarify expected standards. We willproduce new guidance on ‘binfrastructure’to help local areas reduce levels of litter, as set out in our Litter Strategy for England. We are committed to encouraging the use of behavioural insights to develop and test new ways to reduce litter. We have also launched anew ‘litter innovation fund’ to pilot andevaluate small scale local research projects that have the potential for wider application.

Actions we will take include:

We will continue to implement the Government’s Litter Strategy forEngland, including:

  •   Introducing new regulations to improve local authorities’enforcement powers, supported by new guidance on its proportionate use.
  •   Developing a national anti- littering campaign, led by the government and funded by the private sector.
  •   Distributing a £450,000 litter Innovation Fund to pilot, implement and evaluate small scale local research projects that could be replicated more widely.

Continue reading »