Therese Coffey backs crackdown on litter louts

Therese Coffey is backing the new littering fines. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Therese Coffey is backing the new littering fines. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Environment Minister and Suffolk Coastal MP has given her support to the changes.

New on-the-spot fines have come into force today of up to £150 as part of a new crackdown.

The penalty is now more than twice the previous levy of £80.

The fine can also be given if councils can prove that litter came from an individual’s car.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “These new fines will tackle anti-social behaviour by hitting litter louts in the pocket, whether it’s litter that is thrown from a vehicle or dropped in the street.

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“Littering is a scourge on our environment and we waste taxpayers’ money cleaning it up - funds which could be better spent in the community.

“We want to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, and I encourage everyone to take responsibility for their litter and recycle more.”

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Edmund King, president of motoring organisation the AA, said: “There is no excuse for car litter louts. Tossing rubbish from vehicles spoils the environment, costs millions and puts road workers’ lives at risk when they have to clear up.

“The majority of our members support higher fines for littering and we welcome these steps to tackle this unnecessary problem. It is not difficult for car occupants to bag it and bin it.”

The Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, Martin Tett, said: “Councils being able to issue increased fines to litter louts, who show no consideration for the community they live in, will send a strong message to those who think their laziness is more important than the environment in which they live.

“Allowing councils to fine the owners of vehicles which litter is thrown from, rather than expecting councils to prove who exactly in the vehicle had thrown litter, is also something that the LGA has long called for.”

The Government said that tougher penalties were needed to help keep the country’s streets clean, a service which costs around £680 million a year.

Ministers have warned councils not to abuse such powers now they are in place and that they should take into account the local ability to pay when setting the cost for such penalties.

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