A quick synopsis -
In January we were in Loughborough, trapped by a flooded River Soar. In January I walked the town towpath which had ONE bin for dog waste and a severe dog excrement problem along its whole length. I sent an email to the Chair of the Council, I got a reply that said 'Nothing to do with us, try British Waterways matey.' So I sent an e-mail to the Minister for Waterways, Huw Irranca Davies the gist of which was; urban towpaths, used by local residents for recreation, good, urban towpaths abused by local residents bad. Local authorities should share the cost of keeping urban towpaths maintained, cue Govt Minister to enact a simple funding protocol, bash a few heads together and get things resolved.
Yesterday I received the Government response.
Two pages of A4.
Did you know that it was an offence to drop litter? This would be under the Environment Protection Act of 1990 of course. This Act was then bolstered by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act of 2005.
Then we have 'designated statutory undertakers' to consider... and, a Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse that states that in areas of high intensity usage the litter should be cleared within half a day...
Government speak at its best, extract below..
This is subject to the Litter (Statutory Undertakers) (Designation and Relevant Land) Order 1991, which states that land adjacent to an unpaved towpath or adjacent to a paved towpath where the paving extends for less than 1 kilometre is not treated as relevant land of a designated statutory undertaker. In areas where the origin of litter or refuse is external to the activities of the canal or inland navigation undertaking then the duty body may consider it appropriate to make clearance arrangements on a partnership basis which can involve the undertaking, local authorities and amenity groups.
I hope that this letter addresses your concerns.
Eh, well no, it doesn't actually.
You see my little bureaucratic friend, there is still dog s**t all along Loughborough towpath (also Nuneaton and any number of others by the way) deposited by Loughborough dogs and Local Authorities still refuse to clear it up regardless of Environment Acts and Codes of Practice.
Just what is the point of all this legislation if it is not enacted for goodness sake?
Silly bloody question Lesley, it keeps MP's and bureaucrats in work of course.