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Litter: Rural Areas

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to reduce the incidence of littering in rural areas. (294995)

The Government's policy on tackling litter applies to all communities. There is no excuse for littering and local authorities have been given powers to deal with litterers, most recently through the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. Littering is an offence and if convicted in a magistrates court an offender may receive a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record. As an alternative, local authorities have powers to issue on the spot fines of up to £80. The 2005 Act includes a power for parish councils to issue on the spot fines for littering the first time.

Through its annual grant to the charity Keep Britain Tidy, the Government campaign for behaviour change on litter. Campaigns like The Big Tidy Up and the Eco-Schools programme raise awareness of the issue, and get communities and individuals actively involved in clean-ups, in understanding the impact of littering and taking greater responsibility for their neighbourhoods.