Northamptonshire MP wants heavier fines for litter bugs

South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom was appointed Environment Secretary by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May

South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom was appointed Environment Secretary by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May

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Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has announced her plans to clamp down on litter bugs as part of the Government’s first Litter Strategy for England initiative.

Under the new measures the environment secretary wants to hand serious litterers £150 fines, punish vehicle owners for rubbish thrown from their car - even if it was discarded by a passenger - and get those on community orders, including people found guilty of fly-tipping, to pick up waste.

With street cleaning costing local government £778m in 2015/16, the Government hopes to reduce this expense on the taxpayer and deviate some of the funds to other public services.

MP for South Northamptonshire Ms Leadsom said: “Litter is something that affects us all – blighting our countryside, harming our wildlife, polluting our seas, spoiling our towns and giving visitors a poor impression of our country.

“Our litter strategy will tackle this anti-social behaviour by building an anti-litter culture; making it easier for people to dispose of rubbish and hitting litter louts in the pocket.

“We want to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. Tackling litter is an important part of our drive to make the country a better place to live and visit.”

The environment, transport and communities departments will work together to implement the various measures they have drawn up.

One such measure aims to punish those guilty of fly-tipping by ordering them to help councils clear up rubbish and waste as part of their community sentences.

The departments also want to ensure a better distribution of public litter bins and will work with Highways England to target litter hotspots on the roads network.

Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Litter on our roads is a major and costly problem to deal with. It makes our roads look messy, can threaten wildlife and even increase the risk of flooding by blocking drains.

“To combat this needless blight on our landscape, I am working with Highways England to target the worst 25 litter hotspots on our roads network, on which hundreds of thousands of sacks of waste are collected every year, with the clean-up bill running into millions of pounds.

“By increasing fines and working with local authorities, the Government is taking decisive action to clean up our environment.”

Also on the agenda is the creation of a new expert group which will look at further ways to reduce the worst kinds of litter, such as plastic bottles, drinks containers, cigarette ends and fast-food packaging.