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Beaches: Standards

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress has been made in increasing the cleanliness of beaches. (324641)

Local authorities have a duty to keep their relevant land, including beaches above the high water mark, clear of litter and refuse. While local authorities monitor cleanliness through the National Indicator 195 (improved street and environmental cleanliness), DEFRA does not ask authorities to specifically report on the cleanliness of their beaches. This makes it difficult to assess whether or not beaches in general are achieving higher levels of cleanliness. Through the Blue Flag Beach Award scheme, administered by DEFRA's delivery partner Keep Britain Tidy, beaches are assessed for litter, amongst other indicators. The latest awards will be announced in May of this year.