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September 12, 2012

It’s the little things that count

Given that the current climate of public spending cuts will not just persist but actually worsen in the years ahead, it’s possible that local environmental issues such as petty vandalism, litter and graffiti will become lesser priorities for local councils. But as a recent report by Carnegie highlights, these local ‘incivilities’ have a disproportionately negative impact on less affluent communities. The report also suggests how community led responses to these ‘incivilities’ could be better supported.


Pride in Place: Tackling Incivilities – A Policy Summary

Douglas White Carnegie UK Trust, 2012 

Local environmental problems – or incivilities – can have a serious and long-lasting impact on wellbeing and quality of life for individuals and communities. Issues such as vandalism, graffiti, litter, dog mess and discarded rubbish really matter to people and have a disproportionate impact on those living in the UK’s least affluent communities.

These important local problems however, are currently falling through the gaps in in the environmental and social policy discourse and are too often seen as trivial and unimportant issues.

The Carnegie UK Trust is concerned that society does not give sufficient attention to the problem of environmental incivilities. This policy paper highlights the wide ranging positive impacts that community led approaches to tackling environmental incivilities can bring about and calls on national environmental charities, government and funders to consider how they can support and empower more communities to take on environmental incivilities in their own area.

This Policy summary is underpinned by two, more detailed research papers which can be downloaded here:

Pride in Place: Tackling Incivilities – Desk Based Research Report: Which contains the findings of our in depth literature review.

Pride in Place: Tackling Incivilities – Case Study Research Overarching Report: Which draws together the findings from eight case studies of successful community –led projects to tackle environmental incivilities from across the UK.

Individual fact sheets for each of the eighth case studies featured in the report are also available:

•    Springhill Garden of Reflection, Belfast 

•    Bredhurst Woodland Action Group, Kent 

•    Civic Pride, Lancashire 

•    Tipton Litter Watch, Sandwell 

•    Urban Eye, London 

•    Llwynhendy Growing Spaces project, Llanelli 

•    Redruth Brewery Leats project, Cornwall 

•    Clean Glasgow, Glasgow