Pupils get behind litter campaign

School pupils, Coun Deidre Campbell, teacher David Gregory, parent/school assistant Kirsty Greenacre, members of the Co-op Pat McFarlane and Alison McPhee take part in a litter pick.
School pupils, Coun Deidre Campbell, teacher David Gregory, parent/school assistant Kirsty Greenacre, members of the Co-op Pat McFarlane and Alison McPhee take part in a litter pick.

A campaign cracking down on littering in Northumberland is making a return.

Northumberland County Council is launching the clean-up campaign Love Northumberland, Hate Litter for the second year.

The campaign – based on the three Es Engagement, Education and Enforcement – aims to raise awareness of the negative impacts of littering including the huge cost to the tax payer of cleaning streets and public spaces.

Phases of the campaign focus on different types of litter including cigarette ends, fast food wrappings, roadside litter, town centre rubbish, as well as promoting pride in local areas.

To help launch the campaign a series of school litter picks are planned.

On Monday, children from Newsham Primary School in Blyth took part in a litter picking event to help clear up designated streets close to their school, joined by County Councillor Deirdre Campbell and members of the local Co-operative.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, said: “It is great to see children from Newsham Primary School taking positive action in their town and pledging their support to this campaign.

“They did fantastic work cleaning up their local area and by doing so they are making a real difference.

“I hope that the local community are inspired and motivated by their hard work, to follow their lead in embracing the anti-litter campaign and continuing to make positive improvements to their local environment.”

As part of the initiative, the council has conducted litter awareness talks in 24 schools around the county over the past year, educating over 2,000 children in the process.

In addition to working in partnership with schools, the Council has also collaborated with parish and town councils, businesses and local organisations to raise awareness of littering and to develop solutions to local issues.

Since the initial launch of the campaign last year, the council has organised and supported 109 community clean up events.

A zero tolerance approach to littering has seen targeted enforcement patrols, with more planned this year.

In the last 12 months more than 350 littering fixed penalties were issued, 42 of which resulted in prosecutions, 400 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish has been removed and 17 cases of fly-tipping have led to prosecutions.

Recently, Northumberland County Council became one of the first councils in the country to use brand new legislation to tackle fly-tippers on the spot.

Coun Liz Simpson, lead for public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: “Maintaining a clean and green environment across the county is extremely important to the council and to communities right across Northumberland.

“We hope that this campaign raises awareness of the negative impacts of littering, makes people think more about their actions, and encourages everyone to do their bit to help keep our beautiful county clean and tidy.”