The Forum received a verbal presentation from
the Environmental Services Manager regarding ongoing communications
between the Council and litter picking groups. The Forum was
advised of the following:
- Tribute was paid to the good work
that the Wombles Group, and community litter pickers across the
District were undertaking.
- Since 12 March 2021, 1,000 bags of
litter had been picked up by the Spalding Wombles, and these had
been collected by the Environmental Services Team from over 128
- In order to lessen the impact to the
Environmental Services Team of collecting the additional rubbish,
which was in addition to their existing collections, it was
recognised that communication with the Wombles Group around the
reporting of litter collections had to be improved. The Forum was advised that this would be
happening, and that a meeting had been arranged between the
Environmental Services Team and one of the founders of the Spalding
Wombles Group, to take place on Friday 26 March 2021.
Following this update, the following questions
Members asked whether a new option could be added to the
‘Report It’ function on the website for litter picking
groups to report littering, rather than it being categorised under
- Officers confirmed that there was a
currently an option under Street Cleansing, within the
‘Report It’ function, and that this should be used to
Members commented that the same areas were having to be repeatedly
cleared, and questioned what the Council could do to educate the
public about littering.
- Officers responded that information
that had been collected by the Wombles would help in identifying
hotspots. Differing methods of
addressing littering would be employed, dependent on the issues
that caused it in the respective areas.
Members suggested that residents who were part of litter picking
groups could try to take the litter they had collected home with
them if possible.
- Officers responded that where
possible, it would be useful for litter pickers to take rubbish
home with them. It was also requested
that if leaving litter by bins, that the ‘Report It’
function on the website be used to identify it for collection.
Much work was being undertaken on many fronts to address the
problem of littering, and tribute was again paid to volunteers who
were assisting with this. It was
suggested that private businesses could be encouraged to also
assist in efforts to keep the area clear of litter.
Members were concerned about the risks some members of the groups
were taking when litter picking, particularly on the riverbank.
- Officer responded that the Council
had previously provided risk assessment templates to the litter
picking groups and would use the meeting with the Wombles group
later that week to provide safety advice and guidance to ensure
that residents were not putting themselves at risk.
Members asked what guidance was being given out to litter picking
groups outside of the Wombles group in relation to where to leave
their collections and how to report them.
- Officers confirmed that they had
been in touch with other groups prior to the meeting to offer
advice on safety, and how to report their collections in a way that
would limit the impact on the Environmental Services Team, and
which would work in conjunction with the system in place for the
Members enquired as to how much litter picking could be undertaken
in or around the rivers.
- Officers commented that this was a
difficult area to advise on, due to where responsibilities lay
(Local Authority or Environment Agency) but encouraged anyone who
was looking to host a litter pick in these areas to contact the
Environmental Services Team so that they could offer advice on
risks and safety.
Officers also confirmed that previously the
Council had worked with the Environment Agency to lower the water
levels to allow more litter to be safely collected from the
riverbanks. Undertaking this work with
partners in a pre-arranged way would be the safest and most
effective way of addressing the issue.