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Archive for the ‘Littering’ Category

Drug Den Danger on the Riverbank

The brilliant volunteers of Woodston proved that together we can make our environment a better place, with a two hour blitz on the south riverbank last Saturday morning.  Working with the probation service’s Community Payback team, we cleared a huge pile of rubbish, collecting up piles of cans, clothes and bedding, food wrappers and glass.  Well done to everyone.

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However, we also found a shocking amount of drug paraphernalia in the undergrowth.  Uncapped dirty needles, syringes, drug spoons and over 70 needle disposal boxes, the majority left empty!  We have a problem of drink and drug use just off a well-used public footpath.

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We carefully collected up what was easy to see and safely disposed of the needles in the correct sharps bins, but what is clear is the drug users here are completely irresponsible.  There are genuine public health risks from needle-stick and blood borne diseases.  I am now asking public health, the Prevention and Enforcement Service and providers of support to drug addicts and the homeless to get on top of this.  I am also asking for the landowners to do some clearance work so that these areas on the riverbank are no longer welcome to drug users.

It is really important to report problems on the riverbank to police via the 101 telephone system or to the Council via the My Peterborough smartphone application.  We need a response, but the Prevention and Enforcement Service needs the evidence to prioritise patrols in the area, and the drug and homeless support services to deal with the longer term problems of the users here.  Let’s make our riverside safe and clean so everyone can enjoy the green spaces we have in the city.  In the meantime, please don’t let children or dogs go into the undergrowth.

 

Community Litter Picks – Improve your local area through volunteer action

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Yesterday I took part in a brilliant community activity.  Thorpe Gate Rivercare group hold regular Sunday
morning litter picks on the banks of the river Nene.  I joined an intrepid group of 10 volunteers, and Rivercare’s Project Officer, Fiona McKenna.  The Rivercare project is jointly funded by Anglian Water and delivered on the ground by Keep Britain Tidy, and the local group is ably organised by Con Carey and Jill Murdoch and is one of four Rivercare groups in Peterborough.  The sun shone and we soon warmed up as we began to fill up our rubbish bags.

The Rivercare Project allows volunteer groups to be provided with litter pickers and gloves to keep volunteers safe, and the City Council and Amey supports the group further by providing rubbish bags and collecting them up once they have been filled.

In two hours I had managed to fill up 3 1/2 bags with a variety of things that shouldn’t have been in the bushes in the first place – a lot of drinks cans and bottles, piles of crisp and sweet wrappers, and some nasty stuff like used needles and broken glass.  We even found a hand made clay pot, bits of building material, an old car tyre and old bits of bedding from rough sleepers who had long since moved on.   It was good to hear people out on their morning walk complimenting the volunteers on their efforts to pick up the rubbish and it was really beneficial exercise too.

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The Trouble With Rubbish and Graffiti

litterpickIt’s one of the most annoying things to deal with as a local Ward Councillor, as litterbugs or strong winds tend to be the main culprits in making our environment so messy.  I have had some success in getting our contractors, Amey to come with me on a street survey in Bretton South to spot where the problems are and they have cleared rubbish and fly tipping from public spaces where it is identified.

It’s harder with private spaces as responsibility rests with the owner to tidy up.  The council can only take enforcement action if they know about it and if there is a legal nuisance.

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I have waged a war against graffiti on roadside utility cabinets, and it is a real battle to get some organisations to clean up mess from their property – if the property is council owned, I will ensure it will be cleaned up as soon as possible, and within 48 hours if the graffiti is obscene or offensive.  With some companies, it has taken me months to get the work done, but I will not give up until they do their duty and get rid of the nasty stuff.  If you have reported graffiti and it has not been cleaned away, please let me know and I will see what I can do.

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Andy Coles
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The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.