A MORAY LITTER SUMMIT seeking to gather organisations and community representatives with thoughts on how to tackle litter issues that are blighting communities has been held in Lhanbryde.
Chaired by Richard Lochhead MSP, the summit was attended by representatives from a wide range of groups and individuals, including Moray Council, SEPA, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scottish Natural Heritage.
Several Moray community councils and litter action groups also sent representatives along to provide their views.
Issues on the agenda included promoting civic pride in our communities and how to change the behaviour of those who do drop litter and fly tip.
It was agreed that a Moray Litter Forum would be set up to better co-ordinate efforts to tackle litter in our local communities, while all organisations and community groups present agreed to be part of a Moray Litter Forum going forward.
Following the meeting Mr Lochhead said: “Moray is a beautiful place but it can often be spoiled by people littering in our streets, beaches and other beauty spots, and I know that many constituents are incredibly fed up of others making their communities look untidy.
“I brought everyone together so we can identify some of the key challenges we have here in Moray with the hope that we could put a coherent plan in place to tackle the problem.
“We have many fantastic community groups and volunteers across Moray who do a great job in promoting civic pride and keeping their local area tidy and I’m delighted that everyone who attended has agreed to work together to form a Moray Litter Forum, committing to working together to improve the cleanliness of communities across Moray.
“The establishment of a forum will hopefully help us to better understand the scale of the problem in Moray, as currently the Moray Council is the only local authority not signed up to schemes run by Keep Scotland Beautiful to monitor efforts and performance in tackling litter.”
Chair of the Elgin Community Council, Alastair Kennedy, added: “Having listened to complaints about litter and having been involved in numerous litter picks and also having tried unsuccessfully to co-ordinate groups who tidy areas in Elgin
“I welcome this proposal for a Moray-wide Litter Forum. If we wish to encourage civic pride and keep Moray tidy to encourage visitors, and, most importantly, to encourage them to return, then creating a forum to take this forward will hopefully be a positive first step in achieving that.
“Tourism is becoming a more and more important industry to this area so any steps that can be taken to enhance the visitor experience must be welcomed and I would hope that members of the public – and especially those involved in the tourist industry will support a forum.
“That support can be any one of a number of ways. During previous litter picks we have been well supported by the relevant section of the Moray Council but I’m sure a forum will identify what further support may be required, perhaps from the business sector.”
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