Campaign backs law to target mobile litter louts

Sir Paul Hayter of Charlton.'120807M-C171
Sir Paul Hayter of Charlton.'120807M-C171

THE chairman of a rural protection campaign in Northamptonshire is backing proposals to change the law in order to make it easier to fine litter lout motorists.

At the moment it is difficult to fine someone littering from a car as the actual culprit can not be identified. But it is hoped MPs will discuss changes which will bring littering in line with motoring offences where the registered owner and keeper of vehicle can be fined if they do not nominate the guilty party.

Sir Paul Hayter is chairman of the Northants branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and lives in Charlton near Brackley. He is backing the proposals put forward by Conservative Peer, Lord Marlesford.

Sir Paul said: “CPRE Northants has been waging war on littering for some years now and we have been arranging competitions for littering picking heroes, those who try to meet the scourge of litter in and around the villages where they live.”

Sir Paul said generally people who live in villages do look after them, but despite that the annual Charlton litter pick will fill 20 bags, which he said was typical of villages across the country. He added: “It is particularly bad where you live near a fast food outlet.”

And it is not just to the cost to the district’s visual appearance and wildlife, littering also hits every council tax payer in the pocket. Annually its costs Cherwell District Council £70,000 just for litter picking alone, while it costs South Northants Council around ££603,000 for all street cleaning, and around £1.4m for Aylesbury vale District Council.

Lord Marlesford said he first wants councils to have the legal tools to deal with litter bugs but added: “Second to require local authorities, which spend over £800 million clearing up litter, to report each year to the public, whose money it is, how much they have spent on litter clearing contracts, with the names of the contractors and the roads for which they are responsible and to certify that they are satisfied that the job has been done.

“That will enable people to complain about dirty roads direct to local authorities or to contractors.”