How byelaws are made and enforced
Byelaws are local laws made by local authorities like councils. Your local council can tackle problems in your area by making a byelaw to make something happen. You can usually have your say on suggested byelaws. If you break a byelaw you may have to pay a fine.
What byelaws do
- opening hours for parks and public spaces
- safety rules at arcades and fairs
- stopping people cycling or skating on public paths
- saying where games can be played on beaches
- making sure market stall holders clean up at the end of the day
How byelaws are made
Your council cant make byelaws without giving local people a chance to see them and have their say. Otherwise the byelaw isnt valid. The process is:
- your council consults with local people and responds to concerns
- a draft of the byelaw needs to be approved by government
- your council advertises the byelaw in the local paper
- you can inspect the document at your councils offices for at least one month
- you can ask for your own copy but you may have to pay a small fee to cover costs
- the Secretary of State approves or rejects the byelaw
- if approved he sets a date for it to become law (usually a month later)
- you can then see a copy of the confirmed byelaw at your councils offices
How byelaws are enforced
If you break a byelaw you may get a penalty fine. At the moment the council will need to take you to the magistrates court to make you pay. If this happens to you it does not mean you have a criminal conviction. The fine you get is related to the offence and is around 75.
Instead of a fine, you might get a fixed penalty notice. These work like parking tickets you have to pay in a set number of days and there is a discount if you pay early. Youll end up with a bigger fine if you dont pay.
Some cases may still go to the magistrates court if the byelaw break is more serious, for example when someone is injured after a road sign warning of a hole in the road is removed.
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