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Data to drive improvements in our neighbourhoods

29 March 2021

We hosted our first online LEAMS webinar on 25 March, one of several planned webinars taking place instead of our usual annual LEAMS seminar. It focussed on how we can use data to drive improvements in littering and other adverse environmental impacts to make our neighbourhoods better places to live and work. It supports our commitment to drive forward a collective approach to averting the looming litter emergency.

We welcomed 22 external delegates from local authorities across the country, Zero Waste Scotland, and the Improvement Service.  

During the webinar we heard from the Improvement Service on the use of the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) and data to help inform preventative action. A presentation from South Lanarkshire was also welcomed showcasing how flytipping data is being mapped and used to identify hotspots and inform decisions. Lastly, we highlighted new ways of using data, especially visually, and led discussions to generate new ideas and further develop how we collect, analyse and report information. 

The last year has highlighted the importance of our local places as well as the severity of Scotland’s litter problem. Part of the solution is to use data to ensure we have the knowledge and evidence for decision making, targeted action and partnership working.

We have been collecting data on litter and local environmental quality for over 17 years now which has provided a national picture of trends and impacts across Scotland as well as highlight local hotspots, locate areas performing well and input into the LGBF. In more recent years we have analysed this data with the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation which has informed our LEQ in decline reports and driven our most recent publication, Time for a new approach to tackling litter in which we committed to engage with stakeholders across Scotland to understand their views and solutions, and undertake further research and analysis through our citizen science and audit data.  

The webinar will help shape our work on data collection and reporting and promote the use of data to drive improvement. We thank all speakers at the event. Information on future webinars will be shared with relevant stakeholders to continue sharing knowledge as part of our effort to fight the decline in our environment quality. 

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