The new East Cheshire Council has confirmed that the procedure for reuniting any shopping trolley found in Audlem with the new Co-op is totally in line with the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005. Its implementation in Audlem only comes into force in Audlem today because until the Co-op opened its new doors, the village was a designated trolley-free zone.
If you find an abandoned trolley, this is what must now happen:-
Before any trolley can be removed, permission must be obtained from the occupier of the land where the trolley was found abandoned. If permission is not forthcoming, the local authority may serve notice on the occupier stating that it wishes to recover the trolley. If no notice of objection is received within 14 days, the local authority may then proceed to remove the trolley.
The local authority must then store the trolley for six weeks, during which time it may be claimed by the owner. In the first 14 days of this period a notice must be served on the shop which appears to be the owner of the trolley. If the owner comes forward, the local authority must then deliver the trolley to the owner. In return for doing this it may recover the costs of transportation, administration costs and storage.
The shop may, however, appeal against these costs if it can prove that it was not the owner of the trolley at the time it was found abandoned. (NB The average cost of this process should normally be limited to £1,000 per trolley although this can rise annually by five times the rate of inflation or that year's Council Tax increase, whichever is the greater, or whichever version of the rate of inflation the Government is using at the time).
Following the implementation of this trolley removal policy, the aforesaid policy must be reviewed every five years, in the meantime taking care to monitor the number of trolleys which have been recovered under the policy, and whether the policy is having an impact on the rate of trolley-abandonment.
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