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Coalition’s audit – litter

On January 10, 2013, in DEFRA, Keep Britain Tidy, by PeterSilverman
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The Coalition: together in the national interest was published this month (January 2013). Below I have reproduced from page 49 the section dealing with litter

For some reason the issue of litter has been included with waste and re-cyling.  I think it deserves its own focus.

The commitment was to work to reduce litter” and what they say they have done is:

We have launched a Fly-Tipping Partnership Framework to encourage local solutions to tackling this serious local environmental problem.

We have worked with Keep Britain Tidy to support their anti-littering activity, including sponsoring the ‘Love Where You Live’ campaign and hosting a ‘litter round-table’ to engage business.

My view is that producing  documents and supporting campaigns has not, and will not, do anything to reduce the amount of litter we see all around us.

The government needs to act to ensure less litter is dropped by making sure that local authorities (and the Highways Agency?) issue on-the-spot fines on a vastly greater scale than is currently taking place. DEFRA should not only identify best practice but  also have the resources  to make sure it is put into practice.   However they only have two people working full time on street scene matters including litter, dog fouling and fly-tipping. Under the coalition they no longer collect data from local authorities on the numbers of fines issued for these offences.  So how can they begin to make any impact?

Once litter is dropped it needs to be picked up. The government should be setting an example to other duty bodies by  fulfilling their legal obligations to ensure that the  land  under their own control, such as the motorways, is kept free of litter. This they are signally failing to do.

I am slightly amused by the form the government’s support for  KBT’s Love Where You Live campaign took. In January the whole campaign team was made redundant as a result of cuts in DEFRA’s grant to KBT.

Peter Silverman
10th January 2013 

 

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