What a load of rubbish
Anger as council bans village litter pick on safety grounds ‘It is not like we would be picking rubbish on a super highway. These are streets in Wickhambreaux...’
Council health and safety chiefs have angered villagers by banning a community litter-pick – because some roads don’t have pavements.
Grandfather- of- six Charlie Porter, 72, was one of many residents who wanted to clear rubbish from the streets in Wickhambreaux.
But the local authority put the buffers on the event, refusing to provide equipment and saying it “could not authorise” the pick to take place.
Retired Mr Porter, who had asked the council for hi-vis jackets and sacks, branded the decision “ridiculous”.
“They have their rules, but sense should have prevailed,” he said. “It is not like we would be picking rubbish on a super highway, these are three streets in Wickhambreaux we are talking about.
“You try to be communityminded but you do not get the support you need. It’s ridiculous and out of proportion with what we’re trying to do.”
Mr Porter wanted to clear rubbish in The Street, Spicer Place and Mill Close, all 30mph roads.
But the city council says it would be dangerous for members of the public to litter pick on these streets as they do not have pavements. “This is unnecessary red tape,” Mr Porter, of Mill Close, added.
“We have quite a few visitors in the village and there is a lit- ter problem. We do have some diligent people who unofficially pick it up, but I wanted to do a proper litter-pick. I never said we were going to do the main road because nobody likes walking up there, but we wanted to do it in little, quiet roads.”
Mr Porter’s application to the council was met with a firm response from the authority’s Sandra Moore.
“Unfortunately I am unable to authorise for your event to take place,” she wrote.
“Your map shows that although you do not intend to litter pick in Seaton Road, which is 60mph, The Street, Spicer Place and Mill Close do not have pavements and as such are dangerous for members of the public to litter-pick on.
“We only would agree for litterpicks to take place on roads of 30mph or lower and roads that have pavements where residents do not have to dodge in and out of parked cars.”
Council spokesman Rob Davies added: “Although we welcome interest from the community in carrying out litter-picks, and are very grateful to those people who organise them and take part, the priority has to be keeping people safe.”
People reacting to the story on Kentonline yesterday urged the village to ignore the ban. Tedstar34 wrote: “As far as I’m aware its not a crime to litter pick so carry on i say! Good on you all for helping the community.”
L.W.IV wrote: “Ignore them, you don’t need permission from the council to do things. High visibility clothing and litter grabber things are cheap.
“People, we have to move away from this longing for authorities to rubber stamp and approve every aspect of your life. If you want to beautify and clean up your village, just do it.”
Charlie Porter, who wanted to clear rubbish in the village
The Street, where litter picking was banned