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A new initiative accompanied by raft of non-existent (?) new measures

In April I noticed that DEFRA had published a Guide entitled “Reducing litter caused by ‘food on the go’: A voluntary code of practice for local partnerships“.

The relevant page on their web site gave a publication date of 1st April 2013 and went on to say that “Government has introduced new measures, initiatives and funding to improve local public space, and this Voluntary Code is part of the continuing developments in this area” and that “It is part of a raft of Government measures to make all of us more responsible for the quality of our local environment”

Intrigued I e-mailed DEFRA for a list of the measures on the “raft“. However in spite of promising to deal with my enquiry and my chasing them they have been unable to provide any such list.

At the same time I  wrote a detailed critique of the new voluntary code for this web site.

It was then that one of my readers, the eagle eyed Andrew Edgington,  pointed out what I had missed – that in the small print on page 2 of this “new” code it stated “Published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Printed in the UK, November 2004, on material containing 80% post-consumer waste and 20% Elemental Chlorine Free pulp“. Published in November 2004 !!! Andrew also pointed out that on page 4 it was signed off by Alun Michael, the Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality in the then Labour government.

So it seems that there is no new voluntary code and presumably there are no accompanying raft of measures to improve local public space  as the government have claimed.

Peter Silverman
10th June 2013




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