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!

Lydiate volunteer litter pickers update

I am happy to give publicity to this community volunteering group

Next litter picking – Saturday 24 September 11.00 am

Dear All,

How apt to send this email today when the lead story on Radio Merseyside is
Litter dumping!

So, this coming Saturday, the last of each month is our time for giving to
the community. Thank you all for your continued support. I have said it
before but it feels like the ‘deep cleaning’ is done and all we have to do
is the surface litter now.

Those who wish to partake we are meeting outside Lydiate Village Centre at
11.00 am to set off in our various directions;

We have decided to do the full length of Southport Road
again…….well we didn’t decide, I just sort of got told!

Someone told me that the canal towpath has become re-littered (is that even
a word?) and I want to know if anyone fancies doing Pygon’s Hill Lane, which
has never been done before.

For anyone interested we do tend to end up in the region of the Scotch Piper
about 1.30 ish!

Is it just me or has anyone noticed a considerable reduction in litter since
the bin men have stopped emptying those little green boxes and then leave
them upturned so that the rest of the paper and tin can lids can fall onto
the pavement? What common sense.

Look forward to seeing those of you that can make it,