We need crackdown... because littering just seems to get worse
HALF-DECENT weather over Christmas and New Year may not have been particularly seasonal, or the stuff winning trips to the bookies are made from, but it did mean plenty of opportunities to get out and about here in Rossendale.
Sadly, various outings into our countryside were spoilt by the selfish actions of others: namely flytipping, dog fouling and litter dropping.
Not the cheeriest note to start 2019 on of course, but can this year be the year when somehow progress is made against those who simply don’t care about their surroundings enough to look after the area? Less than 24 hours after Christmas Day, I was driving across the Grane Road towards Blackburn and there were piles of toy boxes next to the bins in the laybys.
Who gets up on Boxing Day and thinks to themselves that today’s the day to go and drop off the boxes up on the Grane Road?
Of course, it’s far from the only rubbish up on the Grane Road, and it doesn’t take much for it to spread. And spread it did. On Facebook I saw someone had dumped a fridge freezer on a narrow lane near Helmshore.
Surely if you can afford a new fridge freezer, and presumably a van to drive it somewhere where it can be dumped, you can afford the £35 for the council to come and pick it up from your house.
On a walk this week, I stumbled - literally - across tyres on a country track.
And, of course, once you find yourself getting irritated by this stuff, you keep noticing it.
Dog fouling also seems to be getting worse.
Again, if you can afford a dog, surely you can afford the bags to pick up after your dog?
And then there’s littering.
I grew up in an era where litter dropping was something which was the subject of lessons at school.
Here in Rossendale, we’re lucky enough to have groups like Civic Pride where volunteers collect thousands of bags of rubbish every year.
Despite their valiant efforts, people continue to drop litter.
And while venues like McDonald’s in Rawtenstall do sterling work in keeping their immediate area clean of rubbish, takeaway food does travel, and sadly, so does the rubbish discarded everywhere.
It would be easy to blame the council for this.
But equally, the council is hard-pressed to cover the costs of the services it is supposed to be providing, without having to clear up after others.
The problem is that those doing this sort of stuff have, until now, been unlikely to be punished.
Hopefully that’s going to change now Rossendale Council has hired private enforcement officers to issue fines to people caught littering, dog fouling and flytipping.
Two dedicated officers have begun working in Rossendale.
It’s a scheme which the council says should pay for itself - a sad state of affairs, but it does seem that there’s no shortage of people to go after at the moment.
Rossendale Council has announced a crackdown on litter and flytipping in a 12-month trial