MP takes helm in new campaign to wage war on litter

WOKING’S Jonathan Lord has been asked to spearhead a major county-wide clean-up as lead MP.

The launch against litter was formally announced at a Surrey County Council meeting on Tuesday.

Aimed at the rubbish thrown away by commuters, in particular, leader at County Hall, Councillor David Hodge, has written to all 11 Surrey district and borough council chiefs requesting they contact their respective transport networks and agencies in a bid to clean up the county once and for all.

Although councils in Surrey have a good record for rubbish clearance and environment schemes in general, litter that’s been thrown out of car and bus windows and from trains is not necessarily their jurisdiction.
Mr Lord has also written to Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, asking for his backing.

He wrote: “I would be glad if you could lend your support to this initiative, for which I have agreed to be the lead MP.”

Meanwhile, Surrey leaders have contacted the chiefs of the Highways Agency, Network Rail, South West Trains, First Great Western and Southern Railway asking for assistance.

Mr Lord added: “The campaign will build on the excellent work already undertaken by district and borough councils in this area to ensure that we achieve our aim of providing a clean environment for residents and businesses.”

Cllr Hodge wrote to Stagecoach managing director, Tim Shoveller. The bus and train travel service company pride themselves on their ‘greener, smarter travel’.

In his letter Cllr Hodge said: “While we have responsibility and can therefore act to clear litter from many areas, the litter along our railways is not within our jurisdiction.

“I am sure you are also committed to reducing the litter that commuters discard and I would ask that we work in partnership to improve the cleanliness of our rail networks and, in turn, our communities.”

The Stagecoach website claims: “Growth and sustainability are at the heart of our strategy and our values. It is right for our business, our customers, our people and our planet.

“We pride ourselves on being a good partner to work with and we continue to share our success with the communities where we work.”

Mr Shoveller has had a meeting with Cllr Hodge and said he will be supportive.

Mr Lord added: “You have heard of all those litter picks going on in local areas by community groups, which is great, but the campaign needs private organisations to pull their weight too, so we can have a cleaner and healthier environment.

“Private transport companies need to make every effort to do the clean up on the areas for which they are responsible.”

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