Detritus, graffiti, fly posting and litter

Measuring street cleanliness is not new to local government - we have been measuring it for years. If you have been around as long as me you might remember it as Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) 199 or maybe National Indicator (NI) 195! Even with the demise of the National Indicator Set, many authorities have carried on measuring it as it is important to them and their residents and now we would like to offer you the opportunity to benchmark your results with other users of LG Inform.

For those of you not familiar with LG Inform, it is a service run by the LGA which presents up-to-date published data about your local area and allows you to compare performance with other authorities. As part of this service we also run a free benchmarking club, for registered local authorities, with the aim of collecting local data directly from authorities where either data items aren’t collected nationally or where timely access to existing data isn’t available. 

The club is a strictly voluntary process where authorities can submit provisional or management information and in a matter of weeks be making comparisons with other registered authorities; all the indicators are suggested and voted on by its members - not the LGA nor Government - so it is wholly sector-owned!

It is because of this voting that we are here now. Over the last couple of years various indicators have been suggested and voted on and when an indicator receives votes from 10 percent of authorities, it is added to the club. We have now reached this threshold for levels of detritus, levels of graffiti, levels of fly posting and levels of litter. 

However, as is like to happen when moving away from an official collection, some councils have chosen to report these indicators differently so I have a couple more questions I would like to run by you all before we start collecting this data in Q4 2016/17, to ensure that what we collect is comparable.

Whether you are conducting your own site surveys, using Keep Britain Tidy’s LEQSE service or using some other company to undertake your surveys, for each element we propose:

  • To collect/report on this indicator on an annual basis, as part of the Q4 collection window which runs throughout April. 

  • We propose collecting the number of sites by grade (A, B+, B, B-, C, C- and D) rather than a single score.

  • Using the information on the number of sites LG Inform will calculate both the NI 195 definition and the Cleanliness Index score, where:

NI 195 formula

  • ((T = (Tb/2))/Ts)*100 where

  • T = number of sites graded C, C- or D for each individual element

  • Tb = number of sites graded at B- for each individual element 

  • Ts = total number of sites surveyed for each element

Cleanliness index

  • (SA + SB+ + SB + SB- + SC + SC - + SD)/Ts)*100 where

  • SA   = count of sites graded A * 3

  • SB+ = count of sites graded B * 2.5

  • SB   = count of sites graded B * 2

  • SB-  = count of sites graded B * 1.5

  • SC   = count of sites graded C * 1

  • SC-  = count of sites graded C * 0.5

  • SD   = count of sites graded D * 0

  • Ts   = total number of sites survey *3 

Grades are:

A = no litter/detritus/graffiti/fly posting

B = where a transect is predominately free of litter/detritus/graffiti/fly posting except for some small items

C = where there is widespread distribution of litter/detritus/graffiti/fly posting with minor accumulations

D = where a transect is heavily littered/covered in detritus with significant accumulations or there is extensive graffiti/fly posting likely to be clearly visible and obtrusive to people passing through.

The NI 195 definition calculates the percentage of relevant land and highways that is assessed as having deposits of litter, detritus, graffiti and fly-posting that fall below an acceptable level which some authorities have found limiting for benchmarking purposes as it potentially masks the range of both acceptable and unacceptable scores for an area, which the cleanliness scores don’t. 

The Questions:

1. Is annual the correct frequency?

2. Are you able to provide the number of sites by grade, for each element?

3. Do we need to calculate NI 195, Cleanliness Index or both?

4. Would you be prepared to provide this data?

Answers on a postcard, or probably more useful as a reply to this post on our Knowledge Hub Group or via email to lginform@local.gov.uk .