tracks litter-free, environment minister Michael Meacher said,
publishing the revised Code of Practice on litter and refuse.
The revised Code sets out standards of cleanliness for public spaces
on keeping their land litter-free in a readily accessible form. It:
announces the intention to bring Railtrack and the train operating
companies back under the litter duty, closing a 'loophole' which
emerged following privatisation;
provides advice and information on good practice methods and steps
which duty bodies might take to strengthen public commitment to
cleanliness. The quality of delivery of these services will be
reviewed as part of the drive for best value in local authorities
later this summer;
brings legislation up to date in a single document, reflecting
changes made to statutory instruments such as the fixed penalty for
littering - raised to£25 in 1997; and
clarifies duties for litter authorities and those affected by them.
Launching the revised Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse, Michael
'Litter is a problem which concerns me greatly. It spoils our
everyday life both in the town and the country. Local authorities
have an important role to play and the code which we have published
today shows how they and we can all do our bit to reduce litter
'Following privatisation, railway companies were not obliged to keep
stations and tracks litter-free. This loophole has now been closed -
travel by train should now be in a cleaner, more pleasant
The Code of Practice updates and clarifies the guidance given to
local authorities and others on their duties in regard to litter and
has been rewritten to make it easier to understand and use. The
advice and examples of good practice provided on keeping land litter
free will help to ensure that standards of cleanliness in the local
environment will be upheld.
As part of the drive for best value in local authorities services the
government will be undertaking a major consultation exercise in the
summer on its proposals for performance indicators, standards and
targets in England and Wales. Best value will also require local
authorities to review, fundamentally all of their services over a
five year period. These reviews will require authorities to look
critically at the services they deliver and require them to
re-appraise them in order to seek improvements in delivery.
The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse provides practical guidance
on the discharge of litter duties under Part IV of the Environment
Protection Act 1990.
The text also reflects changes brought about by the Dogs (Fouling of
Land) Act 1996, the fixed penalty for littering, raised to£25 in
1997 and additional types of land which could be subject to a Litter
Control Area Order or Street Litter Control Notice.
A Statutory Instrument will amend theEnvironment Protection Act and
associated Order to confirm that the privatised railways companies
are subject to the 'litter duty'. The order will come into effect on
16 June 1999. As a consequence of the amendment, 'any operator of a
relevant railway asset' will be subject to the litter duty. This
will require railway companies to keep their land clear of litter and
refuse. Failure to do so will enable a person (such as a Local
Authority) to seek a litter abatement order from a magistrates court.
This would require the company to clear the litter within a specified
Copies of the revised Code of Practice will be available on the
internet at http://www.environment.detr.gov.uk/airq/nnp/index.htm,
and from The Stationary Office: price£17.99, ISBN: 0 11 753479 X