LITTER pickers have launched a petition calling for the council to support them in their ‘soul-destroying’ efforts.
Volunteers for the Leamington Litter Picking Project meet each month to clear up other people’s rubbish – everything from mattresses and sofas to bags of household waste and discarded crisp packets.
But discovering Warwick District Council has handed out no prosecutions or fines for the offence – despite there being more than 1,000 instances in 2016 and more than 800 so far this year – was the final straw for the group.
They are now calling for the council to investigate and prosecute offenders, target littering hot spots and put in place a prevention strategy.
Angela Owen – who works with a team of litter pickers on Black Lane in Lillington, and who launched the petition – said: “There are usually nine volunteers on Black Lane and we’ve been dragging and clearing stuff out of the hedgerow every month for two years. Having to tackle the same thing every month is pretty soul destroying.
“The litter and fly tips don’t stop. Illegally dumped waste gets cleared away if reported, but offenders are free to continue, even when there is hard evidence.
“It costs our economy millions of pounds a year in direct clean up costs. If it costs Warwick District Council – it costs us. This is not sustainable.
“We want the council to prevent, enforce, investigate and prosecute.”
Angela is calling on residents to sign her petition, which will then be handed in to council leader Andrew Mobbs, Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White and representative for neighbourhood services Coun Dave Shilton.
She added: “You can help ensure, by lodging your support via this petition, that Warwick District Council does review it’s currently weak stance on litter and fly tipping in Warwick District in a timely fashion.”
But a spokeswoman for the council said the district had low levels of fly-tipping and there were plenty of waste disposal facilities for unwanted items.
She said: “Neighbourhood Services works closely with other departments within the council to prevent and respond to incidents of fly-tipping. Also between the district council and the county council there is the provision of ample facilities for the recycling or disposal of waste and unwanted goods and materials.
“As a district we have relatively low levels of fly-tipping and when incidents do occur, the minimal impact of them is resolved through education and direction of any identified offenders and to date, has not required the intervention of on-the-spot fines.”
Visit leamingtonlitterproject.weebly.com to sign the petition.