Councils add to calls for new litter powers

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COUNCILS have added pressure on the Government to give them new powers to tackle the “huge and spiralling” problem of littering from cars.

Local authorities want to have the power to fine vehicle owners if someone drops litter from their car to help tackle the thousands of sacks of waste that end up on roadsides every year.

The powers are already available to local authorities in London, and were due to be extended to the rest of the country in April.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, partners in The Yorkshire Post’s Clean Up Yorkshire campaign, launched a new petition calling on Defra to extend the powers back in May, to ensure littering is not “a consequence-free crime”.

Now the Local Government Association (LGA) has added pressure, and said it is not able to tackle the problem effectively because they have to positively identify who has thrown the rubbish out of the car.

LGA environment spokesman and leader of Wakefield Council, Coun Peter Box said: “Road litter is a huge and spiralling problem which is threatening to overwhelm some of the nation’s roads. It is difficult - and dangerous - for councils to clear up.

“The litter louts who blight our roads and cost council taxpayers millions in clean-up costs are currently getting away scot free thanks to a legal loophole.

“It’s time for the lazy, selfish people who toss rubbish from moving cars learn this behaviour is simply unacceptable.

“We are calling on the Government to urgently give councils the appropriate powers to tackle this issue head-on.”

Almost a quarter of motorists, 23 per cent, admit to having chucked litter out of the car, research suggests.

To sign the CPRE petition click here.