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Local Environmental Problems

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will include railway property in future reviews of (a) public litter problems and (b) the effects of degraded environment. [106887]

Railway property is included in our current review of litter and local environmental problems. Defra's consultation document Living Places—Powers, Rights, Responsibilities, described several options for reforming the legislative framework relating to the local environmental management of private land, including railway property.We are currently evaluating responses to that consultation exercise, which closed on 14 February, and will then consider how to take matters forward.My officials are meeting representatives of Network Rail to discuss their response in more detail.Last year, in conjunction with Defra, ENCAMS (Environmental Campaigns) carried out a detailed survey of the state of England called the Local Environmental Quality Survey of England (LEQSE). The survey included elements of a range of land uses including transport facilities. ENCAMS are now building on the LEQSE to carry out a similar survey at district level, by local authority. This potentially would allow both the Government and local authorities to identify elements that require further investigation or remedy.