Shropshire residents taking litter picking into own hands

A group of residents have grown so tired of finding litter strewn across their town they have taken matters into their own hands.

Christina Webster is leading a team of litter pickers who have decided enough is enough and action needs to be taken in Bridgnorth.

Mrs Webster said the town seemed to be "off the radar" when it came to keeping the streets clean and has rallied her friends and neighbours to help clean up the streets.

She said: "Bridgnorth is a beautiful town but now, due to council cutbacks, and the fact that we come under Shropshire Council, who seem to have lost Bridgnorth on the radar system, we felt something had to be done – and started with the litter picking.

"There was a team of eight of us who met under the town hall on Monday to start our litter picking campaign.

"Prior to this my husband Phil, other friends and I have been collecting litter non-stop."

Such has been the uptake in Mrs Webster's campaign the volunteers even paid for their own high-visibility vests, with "volunteer litter picker" printed on the back.

"I want the public to see it is not the council that is doing this but in fact the public," she said.

"The council have loaned some litter-picking equipment to us and given us some black bags.

"We want to increase the profile of us litter pickers so more people will take part and take pride in our town.

"It would help if just independently people would pick up a piece of litter, instead of passing it by, relying on others to do it."

Mrs Webster added: "Other issues are overgrown paths and weeds everywhere. I do not think Bridgnorth paths have been swept for years."

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member responsible for environmental maintenance, said that the council, via its contractor Ringway, continued to provide someone dedicated to litter picking and street cleaning in Bridgnorth.

"There have been minor schedule alterations but there has not been a reduction in resources," he said.

"Our performance on litter is within the council's agreed target and we monitor this to national standards.

"Whilst we are currently verge-mowing and amenity-grass cutting, this can expose litter but our contractor has an obligation to deliver a performance standard, which overall is being achieved."

Mr Jones added: "We would encourage volunteers to take pride in the local area and we can support anyone who wishes to undertake some litter picking.

"We can loan-litter picking equipment such as litter pickers, bags, high visibility vests and gloves, and we can arrange for bags of litter picked up to be collected from a convenient location.

"People's safety must be paramount, and we would not encourage rural roadside litter picking."

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