Saturday, 17 November 2007

Launceston gets proactive on litter

"Volunteers helping to keep our beautiful Cornish town of Launceston and its surrounding parishes a cleaner, greener place to live and work, dedicated to eradicating dropped rubbish, through direct action and educational intervention". This is what you will read as a mission statement on a simple little website here.

Apparently local councillor Jacki Ellis-Martin discovered that litter was the big recurring concern of voters when she was out campaigning so she thought it was time to tackle the problem head on. She instigated the 'Lanson Initiative to Tackle Environmental Refuse' or 'LITTER' and her organisation now has a constitution and bank account! The bottom line is that Launceston now has a band of volunteers who regularly go out litter picking. North Cornwall District Council provides the bags, high visibility jackets, etc deemed necessary for the job.

Regarding the dropping of litter I have a totally uncompromising viewpoint: there is no excuse in any way, shape or form for dropping litter. End of story. I have to say that compared with many places our village is quite good on the litter front but unusually there were several pieces of clean litter I spotted on the way to the newspaper shop this morning and I picked them up to place in one of the bins in the village centre. On weekdays there is a council worker who does a good job in keeping the streets clean.

For a very long time I've thought "why don't they get people on community service orders up at 8 o'clock in the morning and do a litter pick in the centre of a large town or city". This would be putting something back into the community.

Reverting to the Launceston project for a moment I note that once again it is a relatively small but concerned community that takes action on a problem; this is somewhat reminiscent of Modbury becoming plastic bag free about which I've blogged before. It looks as if Bude and Truro are other places in Cornwall that might follow in the footsteps of Launceston.

Simple ideas like this help to maintain the pride of residents in their communities and, if they get schools involved, might one day eliminate the litter bug from our green and pleasant land. More power to their elbow.

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