It’s one of my biggest bugbears seeing litter lying around locally.
We live in such a beautiful part of the world, and seeing it spoiled by a thoughtless few is so disappointing.
That's why each year I run a competition for local primary schools to design anti-littering posters, in partnership with Litter Angels - a charity set up by my neighbouring MP Gordon Henderson to educate young people about the anti-social nature of litter.
This year’s winner was 9-year-old Dylan Hills from Boughton-Under-Blean & Dunkirk Methodist Primary School, whose fantastic design beat off hundreds of other entries. The poster - of a fox with a plastic bag on its head - is so eye-catching, and it really made me smile when I saw it.
Along with a cheque for £50, a certificate, and a goodie bag, Dylan's winning poster is also now being displayed across the Maidstone Services, where thousands of people will see it every day.
Last month I went to see it being put up, joined by Dylan on a video call. It was brilliant to see the poster brought to life, and I hope it’ll make people think twice about dropping their litter.
Along with educating people, we’ve got to make it harder to drop rubbish in the first place. As a government we're working hard on this, and recently announced a new wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics coming into force later this year.
We’ve got to work together if we want to see less and less rubbish on our streets.