Headlines: September 17th, 2008

The Government has published the final part of a two year survey assessing the quality of the environment in districts across England. The Extended Local Environment Quality Survey gives detailed information for each local authority on their performance in managing environmental problems – but the Government is stressing that dealing with litter must not be left to councils alone.

The survey was conducted to give councils the in-depth information they need to target their resources effectively to tackle local problems. Environment Minister Jonathan Shaw said councils wanted the information to help them improve their areas and each individual report would be a valuable tool to be used to inform local priorities and work.

“It’s not just down to our local authorities,” he said and added, “Everyone has a part to play in keeping our streets clean. There’s much more we can all do to cut down on litter. I hope this information will also encourage people to think more carefully about how they treat their local environment.”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Phil Barton said the results showed that levels of litter across the country were unacceptable but said that there was a real strength of feeling to bring about change and make streets cleaner, greener and safer. Meanwhile the Local Government Association’s Environment Board chairman, Paul Bettison, said the survey was important so local authorities had a clear picture of the steps that were needed to make their streets better for local people.

“Councils are using their powers to get tough on the minority of people who spoil the local area for everyone else. Fines and on the spot penalties help make sure council tax is kept down and the environment protected,” he said.

The Extended Survey has results from 175 local authority areas to follow the 174 surveys conducted last year.