Question 22/21

Question:

The B2089 has just had it verges cut, sadly its seems to be beyond the wit of the landscape contractor and the council to ensure a litter pick beforehand. Result in the same week as COP is sliced cans, plastic bottles and wrappers shredded into thousands of pieces shortly to damage wildlife, continue to taint the look of our country make their way towards the sea…You would have thought an alternative approach could be taken.I look forward to hearing from you. (14/11/2021)

Answer:

Thank you for your enquiry and we do agree with your comments that ideally we would wish to litter pick all the verges on a regular basis to improve the appearance of the district and our environment.

We endeavour to link up with the contractors of the Highway Authority East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to determine when verges are being cut so we can plan to clear verges of litter ahead of the cutting where possible.  Unfortunately in practise this rarely proves successful as the contractors adjust the cutting regime according to the weather, which is not predictable, and their resources available.

Added to this is the health and safety complexities of workmen cleansing/litter picking designated ‘fast’ roads i.e. any road that has a speed limit above 40 miles per hour. A ‘fast’ road requires traffic management planning such as road/lane closures or traffic lights to be in place. This in turn has to be planned months in advance between Rother street cleansing contractor and relevant ESCC traffic regulation team and even then events such as unplanned emergency/repair road works and changes in weather can cause access to the highway to be delayed.

The UK Environment bill has now achieved Royal Assent and it is hoped that sections of the Bill relating to the Extended Producer Responsibility and Deposit Return Scheme will support an overall reduction in littering.

Ultimately it is better for the environment and for us all if we can stop the littering occurring in the first place and to that end we will work to change our culture to make this behaviour unacceptable.  (18/11/2021)