LETTER: MSDC assertion is no defence

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It should be noted that Mid Sussex District Council’s (MSDC) assertion that they cannot fulfil their statutory duty to keep the A23 clear of litter because of a lack of specialist equipment is no defence to the statutory requirement to ‘ensure that the land [i.e. the road and environs] is, so far as is practicable, kept clear of litter and refuse.’

MSDC could, for instance, purchase or hire the necessary specialist equipment, or they could simply pay Highways England to carry out the work on their behalf. Lack of resources is in general no defence to failure to comply with a statutory duty and Cllr Moore should have been so advised by council officers. Some years ago I sought information from MSDC on this A23 litter issue. They eventually admitted through the Information Commissioner that they had never done a litter clearance of the A23. Not once.

David Thomas

Pound Hill