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The Environmental Offences (Fixed Penalties) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2006

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

The Regulations prescribe the ranges within which the amounts of certain fixed penalties that are capable of being specified (in place of the amount prescribed in the relevant Statute) by a local authority (as variously described in the relevant Statutes) are required to fall (regulation 2). The Regulations also prescribe the minimum amount of fixed penalty that a local authority may (if it chooses to do so) treat as full payment of the fixed penalty where a lesser amount than the full prescribed amount (whether this is the amount specified locally by the authority, or that prescribed in the relevant Statute) is paid within such period of less than 14 days as may be specified by the local authority in the notice (regulation 3).

Accordingly, in respect of a notice of a fixed penalty that is capable of being issued for certain offences for which the amount prescribed in the relevant Statute is £75, the Regulations prescribe that the range within which a local authority may choose to specify its own locally applicable amount is between £50 and £80 (regulation 2(1)). If a local authority decides to treat a lesser sum paid within a specified period as full payment of the fixed penalty, the Regulations provide that that lesser sum shall not be less than £50 (regulation 3(1)).

In respect of certain other offences, for which the amount of fixed penalty prescribed in the relevant Statute is £100, the Regulations prescribe that the range within which a local authority may choose to specify its own locally applicable amount is between £75 and £110 (regulation 2(2)). In respect of any of those offences, if a local authority decides to treat a lesser sum paid within a specified period as full payment of the fixed penalty, the Regulations provide that that lesser sum shall not be less than £60 (regulation 3(2)(a), (b) and (c)).

In respect of other offences, for which the amounts of fixed penalty prescribed in the relevant Statutes are, respectively, £100, £200 and £300 (but in each case with no facility for an authority to specify a different locally applicable amount), an authority may still decide to treat a lesser sum paid within a specified period as full payment of the fixed penalty, and the Regulations provide that those lesser sums shall not be less than £60 (regulation 3(2)(d)); £120 (regulation 3(3)); or £180 (regulation 3(4)), respectively.

The Regulations also provide that certain fixed penalty receipts paid to a local authority (as variously described in the relevant Statutes), may, where such a local authority is categorised as either “excellent” or “good” in a categorisation Order made by the Secretary of State under section 99(4) of the Local Government Act 2003, be used for any functions of that local authority. Such functions are accordingly specified as “qualifying functions” of that authority, in addition to the qualifying functions already specified in respect of such fixed penalty receipts in the relevant Statutes (regulation 4).

In the event that an authority described in regulation 4 ceases to be categorised as “excellent” or “good”, the Regulations provide that it may continue to use any fixed penalty receipts in relation to which regulation 4 would otherwise have applied for any of its functions for one year after it ceases to be categorised as “excellent” or “good” (regulation 5).

The Regulations also prescribe the condition that must be satisfied before a person may be an authorised officer of a parish council for the purposes of giving a notice of a fixed penalty under either section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (c. 43) or section 43(1) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 (c. 38), or before he may be an authorised officer of a parish council or other designated secondary authority in England for the purposes of giving a notice of a fixed penalty under section 59 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (c. 16). The condition is that the person should successfully complete a course of training approved by the Secretary of State that is provided by a training provider recognised by the Secretary of State (regulation 6).

A full regulatory impact assessment of the effect of the then Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill was prepared (fixed penalty notices are dealt with on pp.71-77), and was deposited in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament; copies of it are available from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6DE. A separate regulatory impact assessment has not been produced for these Regulations as they have no impact on the costs of business.

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