Clean-up campaign ‘is making a difference’
Councillor hits back at criticism of programme
Jack Thomson Local Democracy Reporter
A campaign to clean up Renfrewshire and rid the area of its rubbish is working, according to an SNP councillor.
Councillor Cathy McEwan insisted a culture of not caring for the local environment is changing, after the Team Up to Clean Up programme was criticised by opposition members.
In the last six months, more than 9,000 gullies have been cleared with 150 tonnes of waste removed.
There has been a 14.5 per cent increase in street sweeping tonnage collected, while 132 litter picking events have taken place – compared against 34 in the same period last year.
Speaking at Wednesday ’ s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, convener Councillor McEwan said: “It’s ongoing.
“That’s because of the problem we had to begin with, it is ongoing and it’s working. “This is a five-year programme. “It will not happen overnight but it is happening.
“We are trying to change a culture here, it’s happening.
“We are heading in the right direction.”
However, Labour Councillor John Hood claimed the environment is still suffering.
“I go out and the rubbish is still there,” he said.
That prompted SNP Councillor Audrey Doig to accuse the Labour administration of neglecting the environment when it was in power.
She said: “Why is the tonnage still going up? Because there were areas that weren’t touched for years under the previous administration.
“We are not just talking rubbish, we are talking tyres.
“The tonnage isn’t going to go down until all these areas have been gone through and cleaned up.
“That’s when the tonnage will go down.”
Fellow SNP elected members Councillor Michelle Campbell and Councillor Jacqueline Cameron praised the impact of the clean-up campaign in their own constituencies.
Councillor Campbell, who represents Erskine and Inchinnan, said: “Team Up to Clean Up has provided support to groups already in existence. “It’s went down really well in my ward. “This programme has been recognised Scotland wide.”
Johnstone South and Elderslie Councillor Cameron added: “I’ve been involved in a few litter picks with the community council and you can see the difference.
“We are going out and finding there isn’t rubbish in places where there previously had been.”
Labour Councillor Karen Kennedy, who has previously claimed the council isn’t doing enough to tackle a fly-tipping “epidemic”, was critical of the administration’s impact on the environment.
“You have been in power for 18 months,” she said. “How long do you want the rubbish to lie for?”
Councillor Doig replied: “Six years, it’s been lying.”