'Heavy-handed' bin fines face axe
Sunday 15 January 2012
Householders will no longer face fines for making "innocent mistakes" when putting out their bins under plans being announced by the Government this week.
Ministers are launching a consultation on moves to prevent councils from imposing bin fines of up to £1,000 on people who overfill their bins or accidentally put them out on the wrong day.
Under the proposed changes, local authorities would only be allowed to issue fines if they can prove residents are causing a "harm to local amenity" by putting out their rubbish incorrectly.
The tighter rules would still allow councils to take action against householders who cause problems for their neighbours or the local environment by the way they dispose of their rubbish, the Environment Department (Defra) said.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "Heavy-handed bin fines have for too long been used to punish people for innocent mistakes. We are now consigning them to the scrap heap of history.
"We want to see people helping us to boost recycling rates by putting out their rubbish correctly, but bullying them with fines is not the way to do it.
"This consultation will mean that only those causing real problems for their community will get punished."
The move was first promised last summer in the Government's long-awaited waste review, which was dominated by accusations that ministers had performed a U-turn on weekly bin collections.
Despite calls by the Tories for a return to weekly bin rounds, lost in many areas as councils try to save money and boost recycling, the review did not include measures to force them to bring back the more frequent collections.
Local authorities are currently waiting for details of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles's pledge - announced before the Conservative Party conference last autumn - to make £250 million funding available for councils who retain or return to weekly bin collections.
Defra said that to give residents relief over bin fines before the new law was brought in, waste and recycling minister Lord Taylor was writing to all councils about plans for interim reductions in penalties.
Fixed penalties currently ranging from £75 to £110 will be reduced to £60-£80 with a discounted rate of £40 for early payment.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Scottish independence referendum live: First result shows 54% vote No in Clackmannanshire as Yes trails with 46% - and 31 results to go
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...