We need crack­down... be­cause lit­ter­ing just seems to get worse

Rossendale Free Press - - The Rossendale Scribbler -

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

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