Clause 11 - Offences

High Hedges (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:00 pm ar 7 Mai 2003.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Steve Pound Steve Pound Llafur, Ealing North

I should like the Committee to have dealt with clause 11 formally, but it is one of the more significant clauses—even in a Bill as full of significant clauses as Christmas puddings are full of raisins.

The clause provides the enforcement provisions that will exert pressure on a recalcitrant owner to cut the hedge and keep it trimmed. Failure to comply with a remedial notice is an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding Ł1,000. It also

makes provision for daily fines if the requisite work remains outstanding. I would like to point out that people will not be prosecuted simply for growing hedges. The provisions will come into play only if someone refuses to comply with the local authority's remedial notice.

If any hon. Member thinks that the provision is unnecessarily draconian, let me say that it is the Minister's opinion, and that of many of our advisers, that it is essential to have fines of such levels. The magnitude of the pain caused to people by unthinking or malicious neighbours is commensurate with the extent of the fine.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 12 to 14 ordered to stand part of the Bill.