Minister, MP and councillors join to tackle littering scourge in Ipswich
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Town leaders in Ipswich have stepped up to the plate to tackle littering, described as a “scar on our community spaces”.
As part of the national Great British Spring Clean organised by Keep Britain Tidy, Ipswich borough and Suffolk county councillors were joined by MP Ben Gummer and junior environment minister Lord Gardiner to tidy one of the town’s problem litter spots on the corner of Grafton Way and Bridge Street.
The weekend campaign encourages communities to volunteer their support in tidying up their public areas, and highlight the impact it has on the environment.
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “I hate litter with every bone in my body – it’s such a disgusting scar on our community spaces.
“If everyone were good about litter our town and county would be a great deal better off.”
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Mr Gummer said that while Friday’s action was carried out by volunteers, the day-to-day cleaning was often carried out by council employees, diverting public money away from other opportunities.
“If people didn’t need that the council would have more to spend on things like vulnerable people,” he added.
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As well as encouraging people to do their bit by tidying an area in their community, organisers said the broader aim was also to highlight the problem of those creating litter in the first place, rather than using waste bins or taking their rubbish home.
Lord Gardiner, junior minister at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “This is about working together to address something that’s an issue in this country, that lets our country down.
“What we want to do is get to a situation – like where we have where you shouldn’t drink and drive – saying that it is anti-social to drop litter, and what we want to do is energise people into helping us clear up.”
The Bridge Street corner where the volunteers were tackling rubbish has been described as a “notorious spot” for littering, with councillors having got stuck in last year for the Queen’s Birthday.
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere added: “There are plans for a development on the site and we will make sure that as part of those plans this area is sorted out so we won’t have this problem in future.”