Groups of hard-working and dedicated volunteers often work quietly behind the scenes, supporting our local communities right across Aldridge-Brownhills. Their impact is huge, not least of all in helping us tackle the blight of litter. The work of individuals and organised groups who litter pick and tidy our local communities is to be commended and does not go unnoticed.

I am therefore very pleased to see that as part of our wider Environment Plan the Government are backing community groups with additional funding to fight the war on litter. New funding has opened for community projects that tackle litter as we seek to make our communities greener, cleaner and tidier environments for all. This is the second round of funding, bringing available funds to over £300,000.

The funding builds on the Government’s wider Litter Strategy for England, as well as the recent launch of the 25 Year Environment Plan setting out how the Government will protect and enhance our natural environment.

It is only through government and communities working together that we will affect the long-term behavioural change that is needed to tackle this scourge, and leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

Keeping the country’s streets clean cost local Government almost £700 million last year, much of which is avoidable litter, and money that could be better spent in the community.

The Government has recently announced a range of new measures to get tough on litter including almost doubling on-the-spot fines for litterers, and new penalties for littering from vehicles, making the keeper of the vehicle responsible even if it isn’t possible to identify precisely who threw the litter.

The Litter Innovation Fund is another step towards helping us tackle this blight and further details are below on how to apply. The Litter Innovation Fund application window closes 5 October