Uttlesford backs Keep Britain Tidy poster campaign

Anti-litter campaign - FAIRY

Anti-litter campaign - FAIRY - Credit: Archant

UTTLESFORD District Council is backing a hard-hitting poster campaign launched by Keep Britain Tidy to ensure the area retains its reputation as one of the most beautiful in England.

Anti-litter campaign - RAT

Anti-litter campaign - RAT - Credit: Archant

The district came second in the Halifax Building Society’s Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey for 2013, beaten only by Waverley in Surrey.

Anti-litter campaign - FLY

Anti-litter campaign - FLY - Credit: Archant

And the council is determined to live up to the high standards of cleanliness it has set for itself by urging residents to play their part in its efforts to eradicate litter from Uttlesford.

The poster campaign also has the support of the newly inaugurated Saffron Walden Town Team, which has been created to help boost town centre trade and encourage tourists. At its first meeting members expressed their concerns that a small number of ‘grot spots’ were spoiling the town’s otherwise spectacularly picturesque appearance.

Newly-elected chairman Petra Slack, of Petrus Designs, said: “We’re all rightly proud of Saffron Walden, which on the whole is a very clean and tidy town.

“The district and town councils do a fantastic job of cleaning away the litter which is dropped by a minority of residents and keeping our open spaces clear but we as residents and traders also have to play our part.

“There is a litter problem in a few areas of the town centre and some of it has been caused by shop workers flicking cigarette butts into the streets when they’re on a smoking break.

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“Sometimes school children are thoughtless and leave litter all over the Common, especially on hot days, and there’s no excuse for it because of all the bins that are nearby.

“And like everywhere else our streets and pavements are pock-marked with chewing gum which is very difficult and time-consuming to remove.

“We don’t want a few little issues like this to tarnish our town’s beautiful appearance and we fully support the Council in backing Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign.”

Three Keep Britain Tidy posters will feature in the campaign – two featuring pictures of a rat and a fly with the wording ‘Don’t feed the animals – put your litter in the bin’.

The third is aimed at irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets or who dump bags of excrement in hedgerows and reads ‘There’s no such thing as the dog poo fairy’.

Council enforcement officers will be distributing the posters to schools, libraries, pubs and clubs throughout the district and putting stickers on dog bins to discourage dog fouling.

Cllr Alastair Walters, cabinet member for Community Safety, said: “Hopefully better weather will soon be on the way and more people will be out and about enjoying the great outdoors.

“No-one wants a day out in lovely surroundings ruined by seeing litter everywhere or by an irresponsible dog owner not clearing up after their pet.

“If everyone would just put their litter in a bin, instead of mindlessly dropping it on the floor, we could make this district even more beautiful than it already is.

“Often people do not consider small items such as chewing gum and cigarette butts to be litter, but they account for much of the mess on our streets.

“All litter is unsightly and sends totally the wrong message to visitors to our very attractive towns and villages in Uttlesford.”

• Anyone who drops litter in a public place is committing a crime and can be fined under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.