Toon support for national clean-up

Newcastle City Council members take part in the litter pick
Newcastle City Council members take part in the litter pick

Newcastle city councillors and senior officers took to the back lanes of their city today in support of a national clean-up campaign.

Directors and cabinet members met residents in the back lanes of the North Benwell Terraces to cleanse them of settees, mattresses and litter as part of the Great British Spring Clean.

It comes just a fortnight after the council launched its own city-wide campaign, Your city, your home aimed at discouraging people from dropping litter and fly-tipping which last year cost the authority £2m to pick up.

Two teams took part in today’s national initiative led by the Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Nick Kemp.

Cllr Kemp said: “By turning out today and supporting Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean we are showing our commitment to make Newcastle a cleaner greener city.

“Litter is a huge problem for us – like in many other towns and cities – and local authorities can’t just go on spending more and more money picking up after people who just don’t care.

“It’s upsetting for residents who take pride in where they live, and frankly they shouldn’t have to put up with other people’s mess.

“By taking part we want to show solidarity with those who volunteer picking up litter and hope to shame people who dump rubbish to do the right thing and dispose of it properly.

“Over the next few weeks, as we roll out our campaign, we hope people will think about the damaging consequences of litter on the environment and change their ways.”

The campaign poses the question: you wouldn’t drop litter in your own home so why do it in your city which is your home?

The money the council spends on cleaning up the city could be used to plant 5,000 trees, fill 40,000 pot holes or support 100 children in foster placements.

In the summer the council is planning a city-wide clean up with help from registered litter pick groups.

Among those also taking part in the clean-up were Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Habib Rahman; Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Karen Kilgour and Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Cllr Nora Casey. Also, the council’s Director of Operations and Regulatory Services.