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Local authorities are making good use of their new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for littering, according to the government.

Local bodies are using increasing numbers of fixed penalties notices (FPN) as they get accustomed to them. Members of the public, used to handling huge amounts of waste packaging thanks to sloppy green procurement and packaging practices, seem happy to pay up after being caught littering.

"Ask communities what concerns them most about the area they live in and litter is near the top of list. Residents are right to expect their council to take a tough stance," minister for Local Environment Quality, Jonathan Shaw, said.

"I'm encouraged to see that more local authorities are using the powers government has provided to penalise people who are ruining our streets with thoughtless offences like littering.

"But fixed penalty notices are only effective if local authorities take steps to ensure that they are paid - and, if they're not, that effective action is taken at local level. I'm pleased to see that this has followed through in the results with an increase in payment rates, although there is still more to do."

Statistics show that the payment rate for FPNs issued for nuisance offences across the whole of the UK has grown by 42 per cent, up to 72.4 per cent.

Article Date: 06 December 2007

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