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!
I have posted about this problem many times in the past.
To say that the villagers in Lunt must have had a gut full of the illegal activities of fly-tippers around their community must be putting it politely. This isolated Sefton Borough Community has been a rubbish dumping ground for far too long – tyres, asbestos, white goods, furniture, builders rubble, remnants of pot-farms you name it, it’s been dumped there,
It’s been going on and indeed getting worse for many years now. I recall that in my time as a Sefton Councillor for the ward that covered Lunt Village I was constantly on at Sefton Council to remove fly-tipped rubbish and to do some covert surveillance to catch the culprits. Sadly, whilst they did usually clear the rubbish away the Council were steadfast in their refusal to engage in covert surveillance.
But there has been a long, long promise from Sefton Borough Council to gate the lanes around the village to stop vehicular access and it’s finally starting to happen. This gate has very recently gone in on Longdale Lane:-
But the other lane (Back Lane) which also provides access to where the dumping goes on is still without a gate, although it looks like work to put a gate there is ongoing. The photo below was taken on Sunday 8th October:-
Let’s hope the work is completed soon so that some measure of control over illegal fly-tipping is put in place.
I have always admired the modern gateway arch to a part of this community known as Bootle Village which was erected at the turn of the last century, indeed I assume it was a year 2000 centenary project.
Constructed in metal it is pleasing on the eye and can’t be missed if you are on Stanley Road between the Leeds Liverpool Canal Bridge and Bootle Library.
Sadly and literally only a few yards away to left of this shot is the view below:-
Click on the photos to enlarge them
You can see pretty much the same buildings/house in the background of both shots. This second photo shows the build up of dumped rubbish on the embankment of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, which celebrates it’s Bicentenary later this year. This is on the opposite side to the tow path.
I suspect that the area is not easily accessed to clear up the junk but never the less it looks appalling and especially so close to the rather nice gateway arch.
Either the Canal and River Trust and/or Sefton Council need to take some action to clear this long-standing mess up as it does Bootle Town Centre no favours at all and the removal of the rubbish would contribute towards the Bicentenary celebrations in June 2016.
Here’s hoping the powers that be are onto this environmental black spot.
The first photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
Councils in England and Wales have called for more powers to punish fly-tippers who are costing taxpayers millions of pounds every year. The Local Government Association (LGA) said that councils should be handed the ability to issue on-the-spot fines or fixed penalty notices to those who dump rubbish in a bid to tackle the 711,000 incidents putting a huge strain on budgets and resources on an annual basis. Currently fly-tipping costs councils £36m every year. Peter Box, the LGA’s environment spokesman, said: “It is utterly unacceptable and inexcusable for anyone to dump waste illegally and councils know how much people hate seeing this sort of vandalism on their doorsteps. Not only does fly-tipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.”
My postings about fly-tipping in Lunt Village and Ince Blundell (not forgetting places like Spurriers Lane in Melling) of the recent past refer. Residents who have to live with dumped rubbish and farmers who have to remove it from their land are as sick and tired of this criminal activity as local authorities are.
With thanks to LGiU for the lead to this story.