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Councils call for waste education drive on top of latest powers

On the eve of gaining greater powers to tackle fly-tipping and litter, the Local Government Association (LGA) has called for more money for waste education.

On June 7, two months after the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act became law, fly-tipping will become an arrestable offence as its maximum sentence rises to a £50,000 fine and five years imprisonment.

In addition, those caught illegally dumping waste will no longer be able to use the defence of acting under employer instructions.

It will also be easier give fixed penalties to people that drop litter, with the offence extended to all open spaces, including private property and water.

LGA Environment Board chairman David Sparks said local authorities had welcomed these latest powers.

However, he added: "The expensive cost of clearing up on environmental crime must be supported by a sustained and properly resourced education and awareness campaign to change behaviour that damages our local environment.

"Local authorities need to be equipped with the funds and tools necessary to promote the cleaner neighbourhoods agenda in their communities."

While some laws came into immediate effect when the Act was passed, others will come in June, with the remainder of powers following throughout the rest of the year up until April 1 2006.

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