Fiona Bruce MP welcomes plans launched this week by Government to start a National Litter Strategy for England. The Litter Strategy aims to “apply best practice in education, enforcement and infrastructure to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and the behaviour associated with it, creating a cultural shift to make littering socially unacceptable. Measures in the new Strategy include:
• Recommending that offenders on community sentences, including people caught fly-tipping, help councils clear up litter and fly-tipped waste.
• Launching a Litter Innovation Fund to support innovative community-led projects aimed at tackling littering and which could see local success stories turned into national initiatives.
• Issuing new guidance for councils to be able to update the nation’s ‘binfrastructure’ through creative new designs and better distribution of public litter bins, making it easier for people to discard rubbish.
• Stopping councils from charging householders for disposal of DIY household waste at civic amenity sites – legally, household waste is supposed to be free to dispose of at such sites – reducing one of the drivers of fly-tipping.
• Creating a ‘green generation’ by educating children to lead the fight against litter through an increased number of Eco-Schools and boosting participation in national clean-up days, such as the Great British Spring Clean.
• Committing to a new national anti-littering campaign in 2018, working with industry and the voluntary sector to drive behaviour change across the country.
• Working with Highways England to target the 25 worst litter hotspots across our road network to deliver long-lasting improvements to the roads that are often the gateways to our towns and cities.
• Bringing forward regulations to give councils outside London new powers to fine the registered keeper of a vehicle from which litter is thrown.
• Convening a new expert group to look at further ways of reducing the worst kinds of
litter, including plastic bottles and drinks containers, cigarette ends and fast food packaging.”
Talking about the plans Fiona said “I am hugely encouraged by these steps taken by the Government because I know how important these issues are to people in my constituency who care so much about the local environment. Throughout my time as Member of Parliament I have joined in with so many groups of volunteers in my constituency who work extremely hard to keep our towns, villages and railways stations, clean, tidy and well cared for; such as Friends of Alsager, Goostrey and Congleton Stations, the many Clean Team volunteers across the constituency volunteers of the Dane Valley Project and Holmes Chapel Village Volunteers, Friends of Sandbach Park and many more. I know from going out with these teams what a huge amount of litter is thoughtlessly dropped and it would be far better if people didn't drop it in the first place - then these groups would have more time to concentrate on the amazing structural work they also do like clearing footpaths, bulb planting, park improvements, wildlife walkways and creating seating areas to make our towns and villages even more attractive. Many of our local projects would merit recommendation for turning into national initiatives under the Government’s proposed Litter Innovation Fund. Reducing litter will also help keep Council tax costs down, which has got to be a good thing!”