All 40 of the volunteers at Market Square at 9am on Monday. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds

TIDY UP OUR TOWN: More than 40 volunteers join in with organised clean up of Northampton town centre

"It's everyone's effort, not just the people here today. We have a responsibility to make sure our town is clean."

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 1:33 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd August 2021, 3:38 pm

More than 40 volunteers were out in Northampton town centre today picking up litter in a bid to make it a 'much better place to live, work and shop'.

Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) organised the 'Tidy up the Town' day which started this morning (Monday, August 23) at 9am in the Market Square.

BID was joined by Northants Litter Wombles, McDonald's Drapery employees, council leader Jonathan Nunn, mayor Rufia Ashraf, Nationwide workers, Metro bank workers and more.

The volunteers were split into groups and set off in different directions across the town centre picking rubbish up as they go.

BID identified four litter hotspots to be cleaned which included Spring Gardens, behind St John's car park, the green area near British Heart Foundation, and a notorious area near St John's halls of residence.

Mark Mullen, Northampton Town Centre BID operations manager, said: "This is about the businesses and residents coming together to show their level of pride.

"My vision was to bring businesses and community groups together and draw a line in the sand in terms of litter and make a difference."

Mayor Ashraf, who was out litter picking in Bridge Street this morning, echoed Mark's sentiments.

She said: "I think it's really important to support Northampton BID. We want to have a clean town. It's about getting everyone involved. It's a town effort.

"I'm hoping we will achieve on-going, town-wide support to keep Northampton clean. We deserve a clean town and, if we can work together, Northampton should be on the map to be the best town in the county. That's my ambition for the town.

"It's everyone's effort, not just the people here today. We have a responsibility to make sure our town is clean."

The well-respected Northants Litter Wombles were at the forefront of the scheme today and explained what it means to them to have a clean town.

Nicola said: "It's absolutely fantastic [to see so many people volunteering]. It's a drizzly damp day but we must have about 40 or 50 people here already. It's a good start.

"It's so important [to keep the town clean]. I mean, Northampton is the county town, we want to make this a place where people want to come and visit, to come to work, to come to live.

"Why would people want to come and spend their money here if it looks like a dump? I'm all in favour of clearing this place up and getting a bit of pride back in the town."

Steve added: "It's really important we're here today to support a really good town centre initiative.

"This type of initiative, where people come together and collaborate to make the town a much better place to live work and shop, has got to be encouraged and supported by everyone in the town.

"I'm calling on everyone who is a resident in the town to not drop litter and come along and do some litter picking and make our county a much better place."

Since February 1, the wombles say the group has cleaned up 23,000 bags of litter off the streets and lanes of the county.

And possibly one of the youngest litter pickers there today explained why he was getting involved.

Lawrenze Denton, 19, said he is planning on opening his own clothing outlet in York Road soon and hopes that tidying up the town will have positive knock-on effects.

He said: "Northampton isn't the cleanest place in the world, especially in the area we're planning to open our shop.

"This is just an effort to make the town more greener and a nicer place for everyone to be.

"If we make the town cleaner, hopefully, in theory, it will bring more life to the town and will have a huge impact further down the line."

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