Mess left in street to highlight work

Coun Brian Gallacher; Coun Jim Lang; Coun Jimmy Sawyer; Coun Lynne Grimshaw; Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services; and Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council.
Coun Brian Gallacher; Coun Jim Lang; Coun Jimmy Sawyer; Coun Lynne Grimshaw; Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services; and Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council.
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Shoppers in Ashington were given a first-hand look at what the streets could look like if the council stopped cleaning them and picking up litter.

Officers at Northumberland County Council decided to leave one side of Station Road clean while the other was left in an attempt to highlight the litter they have to clean up in the space of 48 hours.

Cleaning the streets costs the council an estimated £2.1m every year.

The ‘Which side of the fence?’ event took place from Friday, November 15, to Sunday, November 17, to highlight the work the council does to keep the streets clean and offer residents an insight into what they might look like if the local authority stopped cleaning up after them.

It is part of a nation-wide campaign involving 25 other local councils.

Coun Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Tidying up streets is a problem for many local authorities; as well as the cost of cleaning up the streets, parks and beaches; the potential cost to the tourism industry is also a major concern.

“Visitors come to Northumberland to enjoy our beautiful landscape and culture; we must all strive to keep these places clean for the benefit of all.”

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at the county council, added: “This event has shown, in the space of 48 hours, what a great job our streetcare team do.

“This is just one street. We could have done this experiment in other places in the county and got the same results.”

To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Which side of the fence ...?’ campaign and to sign up, visit www.keepbritaintidy.org

For more information about LOVE Northumberland visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/LOVE