HC Deb 18 July 1973 vol 860 cc480-1
19. Mr. Baxter

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prosecutions have been instituted under the Litter Acts; how many were convicted; and how many have been fined the maximum of £100 over the last two years.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Five hundred and twenty-five and 537 persons were proceeded against for contravention of the Litter Acts in 1971 and 1972 respectively, and 515 persons were convicted in each of these years. No person was fined the maximum of £100 during this period.

Mr. Baxter

Is it not a sad state of affairs that it costs the community in the United Kingdom roughly £25 million a year to combat the litter louts when this law is being breached by the authorities by not imposing maximum fines upon people who despoil our countryside? Will the Minister see that notices are sent to police authorities, magistrates, and so on, stating that the maximum penalty should be imposed?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Basically, the matter is for the police authority and local authorities in the areas involved. The question of the penalty that is imposed is entirely a matter for the courts to decide, and not one in which the executive can interfere. But I have no doubt that the views that the hon. Gentleman has expressed today will be taken notice of outside the House.

Mr. MacArthur

Who is responsible for clearing litter from the land involved in the recent land profiteering scandal in the city of Dundee?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The Dundee Corporation.

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