Fresh start for Northampton... but where should the clean-up begin?

Scenes similar to this, mattresses dumped in Wellington Street, have blighted Northampton
Scenes similar to this, mattresses dumped in Wellington Street, have blighted Northampton

Has Northampton lost its pride in the town’s appearance? Many of our readers seem think so.

Abandoned shopping trolleys, overflowing bins and dumped mattresses are just a few of the complaints.

Lings, Lumbertubs and Blackthorn were named among Northampton’s grotspots for fly-tipping and littering after this newspaper asked social media users which areas new environmental services contractor Veolia should clean up first.

A particularly bad example of flytipping in Baukewell Court, Lumbertubs.

A particularly bad example of flytipping in Baukewell Court, Lumbertubs.

Kenneth Cook of Bailiff Street, The Mounts said: “My wife and I moved to Northampton a year ago, and the first problem we noticed was the awful fly-tipping and the general ambivalent attitude of local people to littering indiscriminately.

“Everywhere we have been in this town there are beer cans, energy drinks bottles and general detritus just strewn at random. We have sent various emails to the local councillors regarding this, but there appear to be no answers to this problem.”

The new contract will cost £11.9 million a year - not including an extra £2 million in start-up costs in a scheme to buy the necessary bin lorries and equipment and lease it back to Veolia.

The budgeted £11.9m a year to pay the contract has not been adjusted to any rising costs such as fuel or inflation over the next 10 years.

Northamptonians hope it will result in a service finally worthy of the town.

Sharon Forskitt of Lings said: “I have lived in Lings quite a while but I’ve seen it getting worse over time, the wardens need to come out at night and not just 9 - 5.

“It really makes us feel as if we want to move out of Northampton all together and I have been very happy here.”

Amanda from Lumbertubs said fly-tipping in her area is horrible.

“I’ve given up phoning the council though as they don’t even come out when we, as a street, repeatedly phone about the overgrown grass and bushes.

“We’ve even had to cut the grass and bushes ourselves so our kids can play outside.”

However, help is on its way.

The Chron were not just asking for a list of the worst spots so you can cathartically get it off your chests.

The borough council has promised a three-month “massive, sustained effort to get the town up to standard” at the start of Veolia’s term, including litter collection, grounds maintenance and “deep cleaning”.

Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said: “The aim of the new environmental services contract – which has been shaped by feedback gained during the public
consultation – is to bring the whole town up to standard within the first three months from its launch in June.”

It is hoped that this will bring the standards that we crave, and know we deserve.