Area in Northampton marked as '˜litter free zone' thanks to councillor's campaign

An opposition councillor's campaigning has seen part of St James designated as a 'litter free zone' in a bid to clear up the area.

Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:37 pm
Young Ambassadors from St James Primary School launched their own Dont Drop it, bin it campaign earlier this month. The move was part of a wider scheme to see St James designated a 'litter free' zone. rmrDT-FnhpzhqjSD4XtF

Councillor Rufia Ashraf (Lab, St James) launched a consultation about marking an area of her ward out as a litter free zone in May.

Yesterday, after members of the public gave their feedback to the scheme, an area stretching from the Franklin’s Gardens complex to Farm Foods in St James Square, was marked out with “litter free zone” signs.

Although the area does not come with additional statutory powers to prosecute tippers, the signs are intended to deter would-be litterbugs.

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An information trailer has also been parked in the area, staffed with council staff who will be on hand to talk to shoppers about litter and recycling.

The authority says the aim of the trial scheme is to “foster local pride” and raise awareness of littering in the area.

Cabinet member for the environment at Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Alan Bottwood, said: “This is a trial scheme where we are trying to educate local people and encourage them to play their part in keeping their area clean.

“The local councillor has played a leading role and this is vital.

“We will be monitoring the area to see if this approach works but there has already been a good reaction.”

If the scheme is successful, consideration will be given to rolling it out to other areas.

Councillor Asraf said: “It is evident when you look around St James we have a huge problem, bins overflowing, streets and roads covered in litter, cigarette butts and fly tipping on street corners, the quicker its picked up another lot is dumped.

“The borough council has a very small workforce, limited resources and a contract that doesn’t work.”