Uttlesford’s battle against litter louts continues

UTTLESFORD will continue to wage a war against litter louts after a year-long crusade to clean up the district came to an end.

Keep Uttlesford Tidy was launched last June by Uttlesford District Council to target the people behind the litter, and the attitudes to tidiness, rather than the litter itself.

Council leader Jim Ketteridge said the as a civic pride campaign had been a success but stressed that the efforts to tackle the problem are long-term.

“It is very much an ongoing thing, not just a week or year effort, and we need everybody’s help,” he said.

“We have to engage more and more people in keeping our towns and villages tidy. It is also about changing culture – educating people not to throw it down in the first place, particularly throwing litter from vehicles onto the road side and rural verges.”

In the past 12 months the initiative has seen:

• More than 500 litter picking sticks, hundreds of hi-vis vests, and thousands of bags dished out to parish councils

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• Volunteers in more than 40 parishes chip in with the targeted street cleansing operation

• Dozens of towns and villages get involved with the Big Clean Up weekend in March

• The launch if an anti-littering poster campaign

• Numerous fixed penalty notices issued for littering offences

The council has also tackled other environmental crimes.

An enforcement team has investigated reports of more than 100 abandoned or untaxed vehicles on the streets and removed dozens of them.

And they have pursued those responsible for some 90 incidents of flytipping while colleagues in street services have dealt promptly with a further 230 incidents.

“Litter doesn’t just create an untidy environment but it costs money to clean up,” said Cllr Ketteridge. “We put an extra �30,000 into this year’s budget to cover gaps when members of the enforcement team are on holiday.

“If we see an offence we will take it up – we have to tackle this head on.”