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(1)In the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (c. 43), after section 94A (as inserted by section 22 above) insert—
Schedule 3A (distribution of printed matter on designated land) has effect.”
(2)In that Act, after Schedule 3 insert—
1(1)A person commits an offence if he distributes any free printed matter without the consent of a principal litter authority on any land which is designated by the authority under this Schedule, where the person knows that the land is so designated.
(2)A person commits an offence if he causes another person to distribute any free printed matter without the consent of a principal litter authority on any land designated by the authority under this Schedule.
(3)A person is not guilty of an offence under sub-paragraph (2) if he took reasonable steps to ensure that the distribution did not occur on any land designated under this Schedule.
(4)Nothing in this paragraph applies to the distribution of printed matter—
(a)by or on behalf of a charity within the meaning of the Charities Act 1993, where the printed matter relates to or is intended for the benefit of the charity;
(b)where the distribution is for political purposes or for the purposes of a religion or belief.
(5)A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
(6)For the purposes of this Schedule—
(a)to “distribute” printed matter means to give it out to, or offer or make it available to, members of the public and includes placing it on or affixing it to vehicles, but does not include putting it inside a building or letter-box;
(b)printed matter is “free” if it is distributed without charge to the persons to whom it is distributed.
(7)For the purposes of this Schedule a person does not distribute printed matter if the distribution takes place inside a public service vehicle (within the meaning of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981).
2(1)A principal litter authority may by order in accordance with this paragraph designate land in its area for the purposes of this Schedule.
(2)The land designated must consist of—
(a)relevant land of the authority;
(b)all or part of any relevant highway for which the authority is responsible; or
(3)A principal litter authority may only designate land where it is satisfied that the land is being defaced by the discarding of free printed matter which has been distributed there.
(4)Where a principal litter authority proposes to make an order under sub-paragraph (1) above in respect of any land, it must—
(a)publish a notice of its proposal in at least one newspaper circulating in an area which includes the land; and
(b)post such a notice on the land.
(5)A notice under sub-paragraph (4) above must specify—
(a)the land proposed to be designated;
(b)the date on which it is proposed that the order is to come into force (which may not be earlier than the end of a period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice is given);
(c)the fact that objections may be made to the proposal, how they may be made and the period within which they may be made (being a period of at least 14 days beginning with the day on which the notice is given).
(6)Where after giving notice under sub-paragraph (4) above and taking into account any objections duly made pursuant to sub-paragraph (5)(c) above an authority decides to make an order under sub-paragraph (1) above in respect of any or all of the land in respect of which the notice was given, the authority must—
(a)publish a notice of its decision in at least one newspaper circulating in an area which includes the land; and
(b)post such a notice on the land.
(7)A notice under sub-paragraph (6) above must specify the date on which the order is to come into force, being a date not earlier than—
(a)the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which the notice is given; and
(b)the date referred to in sub-paragraph (5)(b) above.
(8)A principal litter authority may at any time revoke an order under sub-paragraph (1) above in respect of any land to which the order relates.
(9)A principal litter authority must—
(a)publish a notice of any revocation under sub-paragraph (8) above in at least one newspaper circulating in an area which includes the land in question; and
(b)post such a notice on the land.
(10)Sub-paragraph (1) above does not apply to an English county council for an area for which there is a district council.
3(1)A principal litter authority may on the application of any person consent to that person or any other person (identified specifically or by description) distributing free printed matter on any land designated by the authority under this Schedule.
(2)Consent under this paragraph may be given without limitation or may be limited—
(a)by reference to the material to be distributed;
(b)by reference to a particular period, or particular times or dates;
(c)by reference to any part of the designated land;
(d)to a particular distribution.
(3)A principal litter authority need not give consent under this paragraph to any applicant where it considers that the proposed distribution would in all the circumstances be likely to lead to defacement of the designated land.
(4)Consent need not be given to any applicant if within the period of five years ending on the date of his application—
(a)he has been convicted of an offence under paragraph 1 above; or
(b)he has paid a fixed penalty under paragraph 7 below.
(5)Consent may be given under this paragraph subject to such conditions as the authority consider necessary or desirable for—
(a)protecting the designated land from defacement; or
(b)the effective operation and enforcement of this Schedule.
(6)The conditions which may be imposed by a principal litter authority under this paragraph include conditions requiring any person distributing printed matter pursuant to consent given under this paragraph to produce on demand written evidence of the consent to an authorised officer of the authority.
(7)Consent given by a principal litter authority under this paragraph may at any time be revoked (entirely or to any extent) by notice to the person to whom it was given, where—
(a)he has failed to comply with any condition subject to which it was given; or
(b)he is convicted of an offence under paragraph 1 above or pays a fixed penalty under paragraph 7 below.
(8)Any condition imposed under this paragraph in relation to any consent may be varied or revoked by notice given to the person to whom the consent was given.
4(1)A principal litter authority may require the payment of a fee before giving consent under paragraph 3 above.
(2)The amount of a fee under this paragraph is to be such as the authority may determine, but may not be more than, when taken together with all other fees charged by the authority under this paragraph, is reasonable to cover the costs of operating and enforcing this Schedule.
5(1)Any person aggrieved by a decision of a principal litter authority under paragraph 3 above—
(a)to refuse consent,
(b)to impose any limitation or condition subject to which consent is given,
(c)to revoke consent (or to revoke it to any extent),
may appeal against the decision to a magistrates' court.
(2)A magistrates' court may on an appeal under this paragraph—
(a)uphold any refusal of consent or require the authority to grant consent (without limitation or condition or subject to any limitation or condition);
(b)require the authority to revoke or vary any condition;
(c)uphold or quash revocation of consent (or uphold or quash revocation to any extent).
6(1)Where it appears to an authorised officer of a principal litter authority that a person distributing any printed matter is committing an offence under paragraph 1 above, he may seize all or any of it.
(2)Any person claiming to own any printed matter seized under this paragraph may apply to a magistrates' court for an order that the printed matter be released to him.
(3)On an application under sub-paragraph (2) above, if the magistrates' court considers that the applicant does own the printed matter, the court shall order the principal litter authority to release it to him, except to the extent that the court considers that the authority needs to retain it for the purposes of proceedings relating to an offence under paragraph 1 above.
(4)Any printed matter seized under this paragraph (and not released under sub-paragraph (3) above) must be returned to the person from whom it is seized—
(a)at the conclusion of proceedings for the offence (unless the court orders otherwise);
(b)at the end of the period in which proceedings for the offence may be instituted, if no such proceedings have been instituted in that period (or have been instituted but discontinued).
(5)Where it is not possible to return any printed matter under sub-paragraph (4) above because the name and address of the person from whom it was seized are not known, a principal litter authority may dispose of or destroy it.
7(1)This paragraph applies where on any occasion it appears to an authorised officer of a principal litter authority that a person has committed an offence under paragraph 1 above on any land designated by the authority under this Schedule.
(2)The authorised officer may give that person a notice offering him the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty to the principal litter authority.
(3)Subsections (2) to (5) of section 88 above apply in relation to notices given under this paragraph as they apply to notices under that section.
(4)The amount of the fixed penalty payable to a principal litter authority under this paragraph—
(a)is the amount specified by the authority in relation to its area; or
(b)if no amount is so specified, is £75.
(5)The principal litter authority to which a fixed penalty is payable under this paragraph may make provision for treating it as having been paid if a lesser amount is paid before the end of a period specified by the authority.
(6)In any proceedings a certificate which—
(a)purports to be signed on behalf of the chief finance officer of a principal litter authority, and
(b)states that payment of a fixed penalty was or was not received by a date specified in the certificate,
is evidence of the facts stated.
(7)If an authorised officer of a principal litter authority proposes to give a person a notice under this paragraph, the officer may require the person to give him his name and address.
(8)A person commits an offence if—
(a)he fails to give his name and address when required to do so under sub-paragraph (7) above; or
(b)he gives a false or inaccurate name or address in response to a requirement under that sub-paragraph.
(9)A person guilty of an offence under sub-paragraph (8) above is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
(10)In this paragraph, “chief finance officer”, in relation to a principal litter authority, means the person having responsibility for the financial affairs of that authority.
8In this Schedule “authorised officer”, in relation to a principal litter authority, means—
(a)an employee of the authority who is authorised in writing by the authority for the purpose of giving notices under paragraph 7 above;
(b)any person who, in pursuance of arrangements made with the authority, has the function of giving such notices and is authorised in writing by the authority to perform that function; and
(c)any employee of such a person who is authorised in writing by the authority for the purpose of giving such notices.”
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