Congratulations, Ipswich, on your ‘Love Your Street’ campaign. Rightly or wrongly, the county town comes in for a bit of stick, but this initiative should restore our faith in civic pride. Let me explain.
Ipswich Borough Council has launched a clean-up campaign after increasing concern about the amount of litter being dropped around the town, and about the impression it leaves on residents and visitors. It’s recruited a residents’ army to try to keep the town clean, starting with a litter-pick on the Waterfront which was supported by McDonalds.
The idea is that Love Your Street will spread throughout the town during what’s left of summer, and into autumn, encouraging people to use litter bins and to help keep their own neighbourhoods clean, as well as the high profile town centre.
There are already silent armies who go out with their grabbers on their daily constitutional and fill plastic bags with other people’s rubbish
Love Your Street has a mascot – Digby, the blue octopus mural on the side of a silo on the Waterfront, chosen, said campaign organiser Glynis Wood, because his tentacles represent the fact that it takes a lot of helping hands to tackle litter. Digby branding will soon appear on the sides of waste vehicles and bins, hopefully prompting people to get behind the campaign.
Now it’s easy to be cynical about these things, to believe that they change nothing. But the problem of people fouling the places where we live and work is so serious that we have to start somewhere. There are already silent armies who go out with their grabbers on their daily constitutional and fill plastic carrier bags with other people’s rubbish. I’ve seen the looks some people shoot at them, the same looks reserved for geeks and weirdos. But we should applaud them – and even join them – because there’s nothing weird about a bit of civic pride and who doesn’t want to live in a clean environment.
Another thing I want to bring to your attention this month is former EADT editor Terry Hunt’s campaign to raise money to buy more defibrillators for Suffolk. Terry recently suffered a heart attack and it’s no exaggeration to say he owes his life to one of these machines – and the passer-by who promptly came to his aid with CPR. Having discovered that the county town is rather short of defibs, Terry and his sister, Karen, are embarking on a long distance walk of the Suffolk Coast to raise money to buy more defibs for Ipswich and Framlingham, where Karen lives. Read all about it, and find out how to support Terry and Karen on page 17.
Love Your Street volunteers at the Ipswich Watwerfront litter-pick in front of campaign mascot Digby