This snapshot, taken on
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.
Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) - logo: link to home page

Environmental protection

Home | Contact Defra | About Defra | News | Access to information | Links | Search | Site A-Z
Homepage > Environmental Protection > Local Environmental Quality

Local Environmental Quality

Please note that telephone/fax numbers for Environmental Protection staff with current numbers of the form 020 7944 xxxx will change from 29 September. New numbers will be prefixed with the code 020 7082 followed by a (changed) four digit extension number.

From that date, please contact the Defra switchboard on 020 7238 6000 if you don't know the new number of the person you are trying to contact. We will update individual contact numbers on these web pages as soon as possible.

Latest news

16 December 2003 - The Public Space Legislation Resource is a new website ( to support the work of all those responsible for the management and maintenance of our public spaces. It brings together for the first time all relevant legislation and guidance, together with examples of good practice. Topics range from litter and dog fouling, to derelict land and allotments. The site fulfils one of Defra’s commitments following its Living Places: Powers, Rights, Responsibilities consultation.

Section 119 of the Local Government Act 2003 - Fixed Penalty Notices for Littering and Dog Fouling

This guidance note contains the new procedures for local authorities which issue fixed penalty notices for litter and dog fouling offences, which commenced on 18 November 2003 under Section 119 of the Local Government Act 2003. The guidance also provides information for local authorities who have gained a 'good' or 'excellent' rating on the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) and those authorities who have been piloting these powers under their Local Public Service Agreements. For more information see Further Information section below.

Voluntary Code of Practice for the Fast Food Industry - Options for reducing fast food litter and waste in the local environment
The Government is committed to improving the quality of our public spaces by making them cleaner, greener and safer. This includes tackling litter of which fast food-related litter comprises a significant part. The aim of the Voluntary Code of Practice for the Fast Food Industry is to reduce the amount of fast food-related litter that pollutes our shared spaces and thus our quality of life.

The consultation paper was developed by ENCAMS on behalf of Defra. The consultation and draft Code of Practice are the culmination of many months of work involving Government, local authorities and members of the fast food industry. The closing date for comments is 30th January 2004.


There is a direct connection between the quality of life in communities, and clean and safe public spaces. Public space issues worry people of all ages in all areas. Litter, graffiti, fly-tipping, abandoned cars, the loss of play areas and footpaths are, for many, the top public service priority; and everyone has a part to play.

We are responsible for the development of policies to enhance the 'liveability' of the public space and to communicate this effectively to local authorities. It is then the job of local authorities to maintain and deliver improvements on the ground. We:

  • develop policy on litter clearing, including Fixed Penalty Notices and cleanliness standards.
  • develop policy on dog fouling issues, stray dog issues, and dog byelaws
  • coordinate cleanliness improvements with local authorities, through Local Public Service Agreements and Best Value Performance Indicators
  • work closely with other business areas within Defra to establish waste management standards for Abandoned Cars and Fly-tipping
  • disseminate information on litter, dog, and other local environmental quality issues, including advice on what to do if you have a problem

We liaise closely with other Government departments and outside organisations. Other parts of Government have responsibility for other Local Environmental Quality Issues (for example, the Home Office has responsibility for graffiti, crime reduction and anti-social behaviour, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has responsibility for fly-posting). We annually grant fund the environmental charity, Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), formerly the Tidy Britain Group, who carry out research and campaigning.

It is the duty of your Local Authority to keep its relevant land clear of Litter and Refuse - though it is also the responsibility of all of us, as individuals, to play our part in helping local authorities and Government to achieve a clean and safe environment.

Living Places - Powers, Rights, Responsibilities

"Living Places - Powers, Rights, Responsibilities" consultation paperA Treasury cross-cutting review which included the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), the Home Office, the Department for Transport, the Department for Culture Media and Sport and Defra led to a "Strategy" published by ODPM and a "consultation" on legislative and regulatory reform from Defra. Defra committed to undertake the review of all the powers and responsibilities that govern the provision and maintenance of public spaces as part of the Spending Review 2002. This work also fulfils a similar commitment given in the Local Government White Paper 2001.

July 2003: A summary of responses to the consultation paper, Living Places - Powers, Rights, Responsibilities has been published.

Further Information

Should you have a problem relating to a cleanliness issue, or simply require further reading, the following pages provide more information on specific subjects:

  • Public Space Legislation Website

Information about this site is available on this page.

Dog Exercise and Toilet Area


If you want further information about local environmental quality that is not covered by these pages, you can contact us:

Street litter underfootLocal Environmental Quality Branch
Zone 6/E5 Ashdown House
123 Victoria Street
Tel: 020 7082 8754
Fax: 020 7082 8698
Or by e-mail at:

If you would like to contact your Local Authority but don't know how, the web site has a 'Quick Find' function A-Z of local government (on the left of the page).


[Photographs used on this page were provided by ENCAMS]

  Page last modified 18 December 2003
Page published 31 October 2002
Top | Feedback | Help | Access Keys | Copyright   Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs