§ 8. Mr. Prentice
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will make a further statement on the operation of the Litter Act, 1958; whether he is satisfied that local authorities are making sufficient use of their powers under the Act; and whether he will circulate local authorities to urge more drastic action.
§ Sir K. Joseph
Convictions under the Litter Act, 1958, in England and Wales rose from 351 in the first quarter of 1959 to 754 in the third quarter. My right hon. Friend has drawn the attention of all local authorities to their power to institute prosecutions under the Act. While he hopes that this power will be used whenever necessary, it is for each authority to decide how far this particular method of attack on the litter problem should be used in its area.
§ Mr. Prentice
While welcoming the information given in the earlier part of the reply, may I ask whether the Parliamentary Secretary agrees that there are still millions of people in this country who daily commit offences against this Act without even realising that they are committing offences? Further, does he agree that the standards of cleanliness and tidiness on our streets and in our open places are still very low compared with those in many other countries? Should not his right hon. Friend ask local authorities everywhere to step up the implementation of the Act?
§ Sir K. Joseph
A circular urging local authorities to intensify the anti-litter campaign in other ways is being prepared, but my right hon. Friend must carry public opinion with him in this as well as advising local authorities.