Responding to the publication of Lord Marlesford's Bill in the House of Lords to close the loophole that allows people who litter from vehicles to dodge fines, Councillor Clyde Loakes, Vice-Chairman of the Local Government Association's Environment Board, said:
"The LGA is pleased to see the issue of littering being discussed in Parliament. Currently, because of a legal loophole, councils are prevented from taking action against people who drop rubbish from cars, vans and lorries. The fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts and empty bottles that blight the nation's roads, verges and hedgerows are not only unsightly, but also difficult, costly and dangerous to remove.
"Every year, hundreds of millions of pounds' of taxpayers' money is wasted cleaning up after people who don't dispose of their litter responsibly. Giving councils the enforcement powers to tackle irresponsible drivers who allow people to throw rubbish from their vehicles will mean some of this money can be saved and ploughed back into important things like caring for the elderly, looking after vulnerable children and fixing our roads.
"Government took a step in the right direction allowing councils in London to clampdown on litter lout drivers, but local authorities across the rest of the country now need to be able to tackle this national problem too.
"We are, however, concerned that the bill is also looking to create new and unnecessary paperwork for councils who would be forced to carry out time-consuming assessments of roadside clean-ups. Local authorities would much rather spend their time and resources on getting the job done and let residents be the judge of whether this comes up to scratch."
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: LGA Media Office, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
Notes to editors
21 August 2012