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Call for new powers to tackle littering from cars

Councils are calling for new powers to let them tackle the "huge and spiralling" problem of littering from cars.

Piles of litter. Credit: PA Images

Local authorities outside London want to have the power to fine vehicle owners if someone drops litter from their car to help tackle the thousands of sacks of waste that end up on roadsides every year.

They warn they are not able to tackle the problem effectively because they have to positively identify who has thrown the rubbish out of the car.

Councils are calling on the Government to bring in new regulations that bring the rest of the country in line with London, where vehicle owners can be fined, regardless of who dropped the litter.

Almost a quarter of motorists (23%) admit to having thrown litter out of the car, research suggests.

Clearing up the vast quantities of plastic bottles, cigarette butts, food wrappers and other rubbish that gets dumped from cars is difficult, dangerous and expensive to clear up, the Local Government Association (LGA) warns.

On just 18 miles of A-roads in north Hertfordshire, some 80 tonnes of litter from cars were cleared up in an annual clear-up, the equivalent of 3,200 wheelie bins or 10,000 sacks of waste.

LGA environment spokesman Peter Box said:

"Road litter is a huge and spiralling problem which is threatening to overwhelm some of the nation's roads. It is difficult - and dangerous - for councils to clear up.<

"The litter louts who blight our roads and cost council taxpayers millions in clean-up costs are currently getting away scot free thanks to a legal loophole.<

"It's time for the lazy, selfish people who toss rubbish from moving cars learn this behaviour is simply unacceptable.<

"We are calling on the Government to urgently give councils the appropriate powers to tackle this issue head-on."

– LGA environment spokesman Peter Box.

The conflict between countryside and new housing in East Anglia

There's opposition to plans to build thousands of new homes in East Anglia with some people accusing builders of destroying rural life.

Developers say their plans will bring jobs as well as providing green spaces.

Among the proposals is a new village near Langham in Essex, which is close to Colchester, as well as a development at Littleport in Cambridgeshire.

Littleport lies six miles north of Ely. There's concern at plans to be build another 250 homes on the outskirts leading to fears the village could eventually become a suburb of its larger neighbour.

In Essex, plans to build a garden village near Langham, including 4,000 homes, have been submitted to Colchester Council.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

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Chemical leak alert in Suffolk

Police have closed Kettle Lane in Creeting St Mary after a container that came off a lorry was found to be leaking a potentially hazardous substance.

Officers stopped the Mercedes lorry on the roundabout at the A140/ A14 interchange. The vehicle had been carrying two containers, one of which had slipped out of the side of the lorry and was on the verge and leaking.

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Farmers being urged to put in claims

Farmers being urged to submit claims for new basic payment system Credit: ITV News Anglia

The CLA is urging farmers across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire to submit their claims for a new basic payment scheme - with just a week to go before the deadline.

Nearly 40 per cent of those expected to apply have yet to do so. They need to be submitted by 15 June.

“The 15 June deadline is looming and it is now ‘last chance’ territory for anyone that still wants to claim Basic Payment in England. We are encouraging members who have yet to finalise their applications to use the support that is available to make sure they do not miss out. For every day late beyond 15 June that a claim is submitted, the claimant will see a one percent penalty reduction of their payment – and after 10th July the claimant will have missed out completely."

– CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood

The Rural Payments Agency is set to open its BPS drop-in centres in Peterborough, Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich and Hatfield this weekend in order to help people with last-minute applications.

They will be open again on deadline day itself, as well as the centres in Norwich, Lowestoft and Chelmsford.

Criminal probe after huge fuel leak in Northamptonshire

Firefighters were called to Gayton Marina just before 4.15am today. Credit: ITV News Anglia/Central

A police investigation has been launched after thousands of litres of fuel leaked into the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire.

Firefighters were called to Gayton Marina just before 4.15am today to discover a highly inflammable fuel from a pipeline was leaking directly into the water.

The area affected has been contained to about a 600-metre stretch from the Blisworth Arm, running south towards the M1 at Rothershorpe.

Nearby homes had to be evacuated and the vapour created by the fuel can cause breathing difficulties so 10 people were assessed by the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

“I’d like to reassure people this leak will have no detrimental effect on fuel supplies in the local area. However, this was a criminal act which has had very significant environmental consequences in that stretch of the canal."

– Chief Supt Paul Fell
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