Up to communities to clean up their own patch

Date: Monday 11th October 2010

Sir, In a recent letter to your paper, a correspondent from Melmerby took Eden District Council to task for declining to support her request for litter-picking equipment to enable her to collect litter from alongside the A686.

Whilst acknowledging the very good intentions of the person concerned, I understand that the council was reluctant to support someone who would be working alone, alongside such a busy and dangerous trunk road which has no footpath.

My own experience is that Eden Council is very willing to encourage organised local litter-picking groups, and will supply litter sticks, gloves, bags and high-visibility waistcoats on request.

In Edenhall and Langwathby, where such a group was formed recently, we have received generous support and advice from the council. Litter louts are unlikely to be shamed into changing their behaviour, and our local authorities simply don’t have enough in their shrinking budgets to adequately carry out this work, so it is increasingly going to be up to us as communities to help clean up our own patch, if indeed we care enough about this matter.

I would therefore urge all local communities to try and organise their own litter-picking groups, as some do already. It only takes a few hours every couple of months or so to make a huge improvement to the appearance of our local streets and roadside verges. Yours etc,