Group takes action during campaign

Members of the Hirst Tenants and Residents Group take part in a litter pick.
Members of the Hirst Tenants and Residents Group take part in a litter pick.

A community group has been doing its part making Ashington look its best.

Hirst Tenants and Residents Group are among the organisations signed up to the LOVE Northumberland, HATE Litter campaign being run by Northumberland County Council.

Members were joined by Coun Ken Parry, ward member for Hirst, armed with litter picks and collected ten bags of rubbish between them.

The group, based at premises on Beatrice Street, aim to champion the needs of the local Hirst neighbourhood and support positive improvements for the area.

Carol Brown, chair of the Hirst Tenants and Residents Group, said: “Ashington is an area particularly affected by littering and it is a shame that the actions of a small minority can quickly spoil the area.

“We believe that by working together as a community to tackle the issue of littering, we can ensure that the area lives up to standards that we all want to enjoy, and hopefully encourage other people to do the same.”

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the negative impacts of littering.

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

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, said: “It’s great to see members of the Hirst Tenants and Residents Group taking such positive action and sharing local pride for their area.

“We strongly urge people to think about their actions and the longer lasting results to the local community when they drop litter and rubbish.”

Along with community engagement and education, enforcement places a pivotal role in the campaign, with £50 fixed penalty fines regularly issued for littering by council enforcement patrols. If convicted at court, that fine can rise to a maximum of £2,500.

Last year saw a record number of people being prosecuted and fined for littering and dog fouling in Northumberland.

Coun Swithenbank added: “The number of people prosecuted and fined over the past year demonstrates our zero tolerance approach to this offensive behaviour and this will continue.

“We want the county to be looking its best and will be doing all we can to try and ensure it stays clean and tidy.”