§ Dr. Michael Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new proposals he has to tackle the litter problem: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ridley
[holding answer 21 March 1988]The Government have supported the Tidy Britain Group (formerly the Keep Britain Tidy Group) for many years in its educational and promotional programmes for litter abatement. At my suggestion, the group has rethought its strategy and approach. Over the next 12 months, the group will launch a series of pilot projects across the country which will try out different approaches to demonstrate what can be done and how best it can be done. I shall, with parliamentary approval, increase the grant made by my Department to the group to £1.254 million in 1988–89 to include a contribution to finance the necessary managerial and co-ordinating effort.
The projects, which will be selected by the group, will aim to enlist the support of all sectors of the community—commerce and industry at both national and local levels, local authorities, public utilities and voluntary groups. Each project will incorporate "before" and "after" studies so that their success can be evaluated. Lessons drawn from the pilot projects will be reviewed at the end of the year, to form the basis for the group to develop a 60W major national effort in subsequent years. Litter and public untidiness are neither necessary, nor inevitable. This new experimental initiative by the Tidy Britain Group offers the prospect of a cleaner, tidier Britain in the nineties. To be successful, it will require practical support and commitment from everyone. I am sure that all sections of the House wish to give theirs.