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...’

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Dan Wright dwright@thek­m­group.co.uk @Dan_wrightkm

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.”

Pic­tures: Gary Browne FM4722326

Char­lie Porter, who wanted to clear rub­bish in the vil­lage

The Street, where lit­ter pick­ing was banned

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