As part of a package of measures to deal with neighbourhood noise, new powers to confiscate noise-making equipment came into effect on September 19, and the new Noise Act gives local authorities the right to adopt a new office of night-time noise from April 1997.
Speaking at the annual conference in Brighton of the National Society for Clean Air, Mr Clappison said:
'Some people say noise is the Cinderella pollutant. In what is perceived to be an increasingly noisy world, this is one pollutant which has to be tolerated. This is not the case.
'Noise pollution is not a static issue. Peoples' desires and expectations are continually changing. There are no short term, `quick fixes' to environmental noise pollution.
'But now a framework for action has been established, local authorities should be looking to develop effective policies and programmes which deliver real improvements on noise from all sources. A joint approach must be the way forward to tackle this problem.'