We are incredibly fortunate to have Cannock Chase, England’s smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on our doorstep. I know how important this space is to our local community and why we must all work together to prevent littering and fly-tipping, as it not only makes the Chase look untidy, but has the potential to harm nature and wildlife.
Therefore, I was pleased to hear the Government has taken new steps to crack down on litter, graffiti, and fly-tipping.
The upper limit for on-the-spot fines is being increased to deter those who harm our public spaces and ensure that those who continue to offend face the consequences. The new fines will come into force in mid-August with local authorities able to set their own rates within the limits.
Environmental crimes are bad for the environment and bad for public health. The Government wants councils to take a much tougher approach and is clear that fines should never be used to raise revenue.
A consultation has been launched to further understand how revenue raised from fixed penalty notices are spent to enhance enforcement and clean-up operations in local areas.
The announcement of new fines is one of several made across Government to mark the recent Anti-Social Behaviour Week and complements the Prime Minister’s Action Plan, launched in March.
The Home Office have launched pilots of the Immediate Justice scheme, which sees those found engaging in anti-social behaviour made to repair the damage with the wider ambition for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence.
While punishment is important, prevention is always better than cure. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has launched the Million Hours Fund, which will enable the equivalent of more than 200 youth clubs to open their doors for an extra night each week. I hope that Staffordshire can secure its fair share of this funding.
I welcome the new initiatives and believe we can all make a difference to making Cannock Chase a cleaner and a safer place.
As always, if you require my help with anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone on 01543 877142.