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Environment Protection: Finance

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what additional ongoing funding and resources have been given to local authorities to implement the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. (142378)

My Department does not provide any additional funding to local authorities to implement the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (CNEA).

A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) published in July 2004 concluded that, taken as a whole, the measures introduced in the CNEA do not involve significant additional costs for local authorities. Indeed, the RIA concluded they could well lead to overall savings in local authority costs through increased efficiency and effective, well publicised enforcement.

Local authorities themselves asked for these new powers to combat the minority who continue to fly-tip, drop litter and behave in an antisocial manner and the Government have now provided them.

In most cases, local authorities also have the flexibility to set their own fixed penalty rates for offences under the Act and, since November 2003, have been able to retain receipts from fixed penalties issued for local environmental crimes. Poor performing local authorities must re-direct this money into their street cleansing service, although those awarded an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ rating are free to use the penalty receipts as they wish.

Comprehensive guidance has been issued to all local authorities to help them implement the CNEA. This includes specific guidance on developing an enforcement strategy and making the most effective use of available enforcement tools. DEFRA has also produced guidance on how local authorities can make efficiency savings in street cleansing and related services. Copies of all guidance can be downloaded from DEFRA’s website.