Dianne Hewgill has responded to DEFRA's consultation on Reducing Litter: Consequences of Environmental Offences.
In response to a question on an increase in fixed penalties on councils; LARAC pointed out that income from fixed penalty notices is generally low and therefore an increase from higher fines is unlikely to impact greatly on expenditure patterns. But, higher penalites are likely to provide a greater disincentive to litter. If this is the result and levels of litter fall, this will save local authorities in terms of reduced clear-up costs - and this is likely to be of greater benefit than the increase in revenue received through increased fines. If there were an increase in the level of the fixed penalty fine then LARAC recommends that flexibility is allowed councils in the level of fines imposed - this would take into account the ability to pay and avoid immediate changes to any existing printed communications.
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