Dáil Éireann - Volume 613 - 26 January, 2006
Written Answers - Litter Pollution.
Cecilia Keaveney Cecilia Keaveney
184. Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the efforts being made to ensure that the recent report on litter prosecutions and litter on the spot fines are improved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2566/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: Responsibility for enforcement of the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2003, including enforcement of on-the-spot litter fines and the taking of litter prosecutions, is a matter for local authorities. I am satisfied that the penalties and enforcement powers under existing litter legislation are adequate.
Since the introduction of the 1997 Act there has been a substantial increase in the number of prosecutions taken and on-the-spot fines issued by local authorities. Local authorities submit data to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government every six months on anti-litter enforcement action including the number of prosecutions taken, convictions secured and on-the-spot fines issued and paid. This data is available in the Oireachtas Library.
 In response to inquiries from my Department, local authorities indicated that the level of litter on-the-spot fines payment is affected by a range of factors, including: provision by offenders of false or misleading information; offenders moving address with no forwarding address available; waiving of fines on appeal for reasons such as compassionate grounds; lapse of statutory period for pursuing non-payment; incorrect issue of fine notices; issue of two or more fine notices in respect of the same offence, such as to a number of occupants of a house, where the local authority subsequently deems it more appropriate to accept a single payment and annuls the other fines and fines being struck out in court.
Every opportunity will continue to be taken to urge local authorities to enforce the litter laws as rigorously as possible, including appropriate follow-up action in regard to non-payment of fines.
Dáil Éireann 613 Written Answers Litter Pollution.