Cleaning up its act

Published: Sunday 15 May 2005

Roots of the nuisance are deep The uk has adopted the decentralisation mantra for tackling environmental crime. Its Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which recently received the Royal nod, increases local authorities' powers to help undertake the clean up exercise. They can now immediately seize vehicles caught fly tipping and issue fixed penalty notices for fly posting, waste and graffiti offences. They can also retain the money collected as fines. The legislation marks the success of intense lobbying by the Local Government Association (lga) for the devolution of more powers to councils to deal with environmental crimes.

"It is essential that these new powers are backed up with funding," Councillor David Sparks, chairperson, lga environment board, said. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs said local authorities will have more powers to tackle litter, abandoned and nuisance vehicles, dogs, noise and artificial lighting nuisance.

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