New litter strategy welcomed as cost to keep St Edmundsbury’s streets clean rises

BFP Let's Be Proud of Bury campaign
BFP Let's Be Proud of Bury campaign
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A Government strategy to crackdown on ‘litter louts’ has been welcomed after the cost to clean up St Edmundsbury’s streets rose to £1.4 million.

The new national Litter Strategy includes plans to increase fines for dropping litter and to give councils powers to fine motorists who throw litter from their vehicles.

It joins a series of measures such as an improved distribution of public litter bins and a recommendation that offenders on community sentences help to clear up fly-tipped waste.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has spent £5.4 million over the last four financial years on street cleansing services - rising from £1.2 million in 2013/14 to £1.4 million in 2016/17.

This includes the cost of emptying litter bins and sweeping up twigs and leaves.

Council bosses have welcomed the new strategy and say there is ‘no excuse’ for littering.

A spokesman said: “Underlying all of this is the question as to how we change people’s behaviour to prevent littering from happening in the first place.

“These are financially challenging times for local government and going forward we hope that the Government will use the strategy to help to bring together joined up working between local councils, communities and businesses to try to stamp this problem out.”

He highlighted the council’s Love Where You Live campaign, which supports equipment to community groups for litter picks.

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said the strategy will make it easier for people to dispose of their rubbish and, with new fines of upto £150, act as a ‘disincentive to thoughtless litter louts’.

She said: “It is always unfortunate when we see cases of large scale fly-tipping and I welcome tough new measures to crackdown on this disorderly behaviour.

The Bury Free Press ran a campaign ‘Let’s Be Proud of Bury’ to encourage communities to crackdown on litter and graffiti.