Bryson & Luff Want Litter Licked
News Story

Peter Luff this week attended a reception in Parliament to back "Stop the Drop", the new campaign against countryside litter and fly-tipping by CPRE. The campaign is being fronted by the charity's President, author Bill Bryson.

Stop the Drop highlights the growing problems of litter and fly-tipping in England's countryside. According to the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, litter is five times worse than in the 1960s. The problem is particularly acute in rural areas, where litter is often left to lie for much longer than in towns and cities and where high levels of fly-tipping do serious damage.

Peter said,

"I am delighted to be able to support Bill Bryson and CPRE in this important campaign. Litter and fly-tipping are an unsightly and unnecessary blight on too much of our countryside. I know that my constituents want to see more action to clean up our towns and countryside. I have also added my support to a House of Commons motion backing the campaign.

"I am delighted that Wychavon council is one of the best performing councils on dealing with both litter and fly-tipping, but it faces an uphill struggle to cope with the scandalous disregard so many of our fellow citizens show for the environment."

Bill Bryson said,

"I welcome Peter's support for our Stop the Drop campaign. We need the backing of as many MPs as possible to persuade people to stop dropping litter and to prevail on those with the powers to do so to clean it up. Litter is becoming the default condition of the countryside, and it is time that we - all of us - did something about this. The landscape is too lovely to trash."

CPRE is highlighting the need for stronger leadership from central Government to tackle litter and fly-tipping and better enforcement of existing laws by local authorities and others. Keep Britain Tidy's 2006/07 survey did not rate a single local council as "good" on litter, even though, collectively, councils spend more than 600 million a year clearing litter up - a bill that is ultimately met by taxpayers. Local authorities can hand out fixed penalty notices to people dropping litter, but in 2006/07 just 25 of the 354 English local authorities gave out 62% of the fines, and 72 issued none at all.

There are similar enforcement problems with fly-tipping. Of the 2.6 million incidents dealt with by local authorities in 2006/07, just 1,796 were successfully prosecuted, working out at a roughly one in 1,450 chance of being brought to book.

Bill Bryson said:

"Littering is not a crime that has anyone quaking for fear of the consequences because, by and large, there are no consequences. If we want the cleaner, tidier countryside that we all deserve, we need firm action and leadership at both national and local level, to show that dropping litter and fly-tipping will not continue to be consequence-free crimes."

To find out more about CPRE's campaign, visit www.cpre.org.uk. You can also find out what's going on in your own area by visiting www.litteraction.org.uk.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Picture shows Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire, with Bill Bryson at the House of Commons reception

Wychavon District Council has appointed an Environmental Crime Officer. In the last year, 2007/08, 201 cases of littering were investigated and 29 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued (25 littering, 3 waste carrier, 1 dog fouling), with 1 prosecution for non-payment of FPN and 10 formal cautions; there were 4 successful prosecutions for flytipping with 4 stop-and-search operations carried out - 212 vehicles stopped, 27 possible offenders identified and 3 FPN issued.

CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is a charity which promotes the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England. CPRE advocates positive solutions for the long-term future of the countryside. Founded in 1926, we have 60,000 supporters and a branch in every county. President: Bill Bryson. Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.

Date comes from ENCAMS Local Environmental Quality Survey of England 2006/07. ENCAMS, which runs the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, examined 19,000 sites across a sample of local authorities in all nine English regions. Also from the Highways Agency -http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/12043.aspx

House of Commons Early Day Motion 1634 (Stop the Drop Campaign against Litter and Fly-tipping) can be viewed at: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=35916&SESSION=891

CPRE is working in partnership with CleanupUK on the www.litteraction.org.uk website. The website links together volunteer groups and individuals across England, enabling them to work together to tackle problems of litter locally, and giving them support with best practice, guidance and links to campaigning advice. CleanupUK is a charity dedicated to supporting the work of volunteer Litter collecting groups and individuals around the UK and to encouraging the formation of new volunteer groups. www.cleanupuk.org.uk


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