Lydiate and its volunteer litter pickers

There’s a band of volunteer litter pickers in the community I live in and they go out regularly to try to keep Lydiate clean. They don’t ask for recognition and unless you see them doing their bit you might think our reasonably litter free community is being kept clean by ‘the council’.

Some impressive lengths of roads are litter picked by the volunteers and sadly they are always kept busy because a certain section of our society seems to think that chucking litter, bottles, dog poo bags etc. is a positive contribution to local life. They love throwing litter out of the windows of moving vehicles or picking up dog poo where they think they may be seen only to then deposit the very same bags anywhere they can’t be seen. The participants in these anti-social activities must feel they have a social duty to keep ‘the council’s’ street cleaners busy and in work. However, the reality is that councils do much less litter picking these days as they’ve cut back on such work to try to better fund other vital work such as paying for children in care and social care for the elderly. These two council activities cost an arm and a leg no matter which party runs ‘the council’.

I’m not trying to make excuses for ‘the council’ but having been a Borough Councillor for 16 years (1999 – 2015), 7 of those as a Council Leader, I know how desperately stretched nearly all councils are and why the likes of street cleaning has slipped down their list of priorities. It’s not a good situation but sadly it’s reality. Of course that’s why in so many communities volunteers can now often be the backbone of keeping our streets clean.

I have nothing but admiration for the work of Lydiate’s volunteer litter pickers many of whom do far more than my own very limited contribution.

I look after a footpath which connects Southport Road, Marshalls Close and Coppull Road and I litter pick it around once a month. I did it yesterday and despite only doing it around 3 weeks ago I still collected half a back bin bag of rubbish and litter. I know this path is well used but it’s also secluded so I’m guessing that a very small minority of its users chuck all the litter along it on the basis that with a quick look around to check no one can see them they can just drop whatever they want – and they do.

Whenever I see litter my mind goes back to my favourite author Bill Bryson and his book Notes from a Small Island. Bill, on travelling to Liverpool happened to do so whilst there was an industrial dispute on-going between refuse/street cleaners and the City Council. Liverpool was indeed a mess at that time and he dubbed it a ‘festival of litter’. Sadly, whilst that situation was subsequently resolved there are a small number in our society who have opted out of civic life to create work for those who really care about their community. I fear that the volunteer litter pickers will be doing their rounds for a long time to come because some in our society really can’t give a damn!

4 thoughts on “Lydiate and its volunteer litter pickers

  1. Keith and Debbie Dickson says:

    Hi Tony
    We would like to volunteer for Lydiate litter picking in our local vicinity that being Church Lane/ Southport Road. Can you tell us how to go about this.

  2. MR L J Dunne says:

    Is our rates just to pay for wages and expenses of our council ..Volunteers pick litter decorate our streets and railway station with a floral display.Apart from the refuse collectors what do the council do

    • Hello Mr Dunne, As you are replying to one of my blog postings about Lydiate I’m guessing you are referring to what Lydiate Parish Council does? On the other hand, you mention a railway station and Lydiate has not had one since the early 1950s so I’m wondering if you are referring to Maghull?

      I’ll reply assuming you are talking about Lydiate PC.

      The Parish Council does financially support the volunteer litter pickers (litter picking equipment and donations) and also ensures that they are insured during their work. It’s proving to be a successful project with Lydiate being much cleaner over the past 2 or 3 years.

      I hope that helps but please come back to me if I’ve not understood you correctly.

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