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Councils and Whitehall team up for first national litter strategy

Councils and partners will work with central government on the country’s first-ever national litter clampdown to ensure a joined-up approach to the growing issue.

Whitehall announced the launch of the national strategy this weekend as part of its response to the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee’s inquiry on littering and fly-tipping in England.

It will work with town halls, campaign groups and businesses – including fast food firms and manufacturers of chewing gum, confectionary and soft drinks – to develop a “collective sense of responsibility” and coherent strategy.

Environment minister Rory Stewart said: “Litter has such a huge impact on the quality of our streets and public spaces, which is why we will be working with businesses, environmental groups and local authorities to develop a national litter strategy.

“We all have a responsibility to keep our communities tidy and our plans will improve the way we work together to tackle this persistent, costly and avoidable problem. We are also giving councils new power to tackle small-scale fly-tipping and we are looking to introduce higher fixed penalty notices for littering.

“The government is committed to localism and the transfer of power to local communities. This is particularly relevant in dealing with litter and fly-tipping problems, which require a local approach, tailored to the characteristics of the area and the community in which the problems occur.”

This transfer of power will also include introducing regulations that enhance enforcement authorities’ powers to seize vehicles suspected of being involved in waste crime.

The move follows the LGA’s request in October for more effective powers to deter fly-tipping, including by teaming up with major supermarkets to tackle the growing number of dumped trolleys costing councils up to £50m per year.

In Whitehall’s response to the Committee, it added: “Our priority is to deliver our manifesto commitment to review the case for increasing the fines for littering offences. As the Committee notes, this could assist in encouraging local authorities to make effective use of Fixed Penalty Notices to deter littering and provide additional resources to help with the cost of litter clearance.

“As part of the process of developing a national litter strategy, we will establish working groups on roadside litter, and on wider enforcement issues, and work in collaboration with all interested parties including councils, Highways England, motoring organisations and professional road users, under the direction of a Litter Strategy Advisory Group, chaired by a Defra minister.”

And as part of recommendations from the Committee’s inquiry, the government will also put in place an annual Community Clear Up Day from 2016 – staring with a ‘Clean for the Queen’ for her 90th birthday.

The first Clear Up Day was held on 21 March and saw hundreds of events taking place countrywide, with coordinated activities held by local authorities, parish councils, community groups and businesses.


James Phillips   08/12/2015 at 14:03

Only the creation of a new national post of National Litter Tsar can effectively combat and eradicate the litter/fly-tipping problem. Councils are simply not capable of doing it for several reasons - namely, motivation, resources, budget, ability/ capability, weaknesses in relevant legislation and individual interpretation of the current legislation.

Andrew   28/03/2017 at 15:17

The area o Salford that live in is constantly blighted by litter. I never hear of anyone being prosecuted or fined never see any inspectors. Litter is often left for weeks and nothing is done about it. with so many people out of work we should be able to have them contribute something to the society/community by helping to clean their local area and perhaps instil a sense of social pride. Though of course the @Left' would cry that it is 'deeming' or tantamount to 'slave' labour' or some such.

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