§ Mr. Clappison
The advisory group made key recommendations on five areas of litter legislation in England and Wales: litter plans; litter problems on private land; litter problems on public land caused by commercial activity; dog fouling; and the fixed penalty notice system.
We have carefully considered the recommendation that each district council should be statutorily required to publish information about how it plans to fulfil its litter duty. Local authorities are already required by the Audit Commission to publish information about their performance in street cleansing. It is doubtful what additional benefit would be gained from a statutory litter plan. However, when we republish the code of practice on litter and refuse, we intend to include examples of good practice about providing information to the public on local authority powers and duties in relation to litter.
Primary legislation would be needed to fulfil the advisory group's recommendations about litter problems on private land and litter problems on public land caused by commercial activities. We are not convinced that this is appropriate. However, we shall look at the possibility of amending the Litter Control Areas Order 1991 and the Street Litter Notices Order 1991 to meet the main concerns of the advisory group.
The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 carries forward the recommendations for national legislation to replace dog fouling byelaws and for the introduction of a fixed penalty scheme. We are currently consulting on the detailed arrangements with a view to full implementation of these new simpler arrangements by the end of the year.
We agree that the fixed penalty for both littering and the new dog fouling offence should be set at £25. I propose that this should take effect in the autumn.
We shall consult local authorities and other interested bodies later this year on the draft revision to the code of practice on litter and refuse and on any proposals to change the orders relating to litter control areas or street litter control notices.