Section 130: Fixed penalties for breach of byelaws
341.This section inserts new sections 237A to 237C, and new section 237F, into the Local Government Act 1972.
342.New section 237A empowers the Secretary of State to make regulations prescribing classes of byelaws which may be enforced by means of fixed penalty notices. Where a byelaw is within such a class, subsection (3) provides for an authorised officer of an authority to issue a fixed penalty notice offering a person the opportunity of discharging liability for conviction for a byelaw offence by the payment of the amount specified in the notice. Subsection (4) provides that, following receipt of a fixed penalty notice, the recipient has fourteen days in which to pay the specified fine, and thus avoid attending the Magistrates’ Court in respect of the offence. Subsection (6) provides that the fixed penalty notice must give sufficient information to the recipient so that the nature of the offence is clear. Subsection (12) makes provision about which persons are authorised to issue fixed penalties. “Authorised officers” will be restricted to those authorised in writing by the authority to carry out the function. This may be a direct employee of the authority, or a person, or an employee of a person, with whom the local authority has a contract for the enforcement of byelaws.
343.New section 237B provides for the level of fixed penalties for breach of byelaws. The section confers on the Secretary of State the power to make regulations specifying a range within which the amount of fixed penalty must fall. Where a range has been specified, local authorities may choose to set an amount within that range. Where no range has been set, local authorities will have freedom to set the penalty. Where the local authority does not specify a penalty for breach of a byelaw, the section provides for a default amount of £75. The section empowers the Secretary of State to make an order to change the default amount as necessary, so that the level remains in line with similar low-level offences.
344.New section 237C gives an authorised officer who proposes to issue a fixed penalty notice for breach of a byelaw the power to require the person to whom he is giving the notice to give their name and address. A person who fails to give their name and address or gives a false name and address will commit an offence.
345.New section 237F makes supplementary provision about regulations and orders under section 237A and 237B.