Hunt is on for Street Champions to help tidy up Northampton

From left, Veolia's Keith Powell, cabinet member for environment Mike Hallam, Ecton Brook Street Champions Sally and Danny Jordan, Terry Richards of Duston and Richard Mallinson of East Hunsbury.
From left, Veolia's Keith Powell, cabinet member for environment Mike Hallam, Ecton Brook Street Champions Sally and Danny Jordan, Terry Richards of Duston and Richard Mallinson of East Hunsbury.

An anti-littering version of Neighbourhood Watch is being rolled out across Northampton in a bid to encourage areas to tidy up.

Northampton residents can now sign up to the Street Champions Scheme, which is being launched by borough council and the company in charge of keeping the town tidy, Veolia.

Volunteers - who are given a litterpicker and logo-adorned high visibility jacket when they join - are encouraged to hold litter picks on their street, report on those who fly-tip, and act as an all-round good example to their neighbours when it comes to cleanliness.

More than 20 people have already signed up from across the town and it is hoped that, soon, every area of Northampton will be covered by a Street Champion.

Cabinet member for the environment on the borough council, Councillor Mike Hallam, said: "There are already many proactive groups in the town, who do an absolutely fantastic job keeping our streets and parks clean with regular litter picks, and we hope that the launch of the Street Champions scheme, will help to build on this work and install a wider a sense of pride in Northampton by encouraging more people to take positive actions to improve their local areas.”

Hunsbury dad-of-two Richard Mallinson, 35, is among the early recruits.

"I have been picking up litter for quite a long time because I think it's just senseless - it makes places look really bad.

"I really liked the sound of the street champion scheme. You can get all the equipment sent to you, you don't have to spend any money on it.

"We are just hoping more people get involved."

No formal commitment is needed when signing up to become a Street Champion. People can give as much or as little time as they like, either as an individual or by forming a group with like-minded friends and neighbours.

"We have scheduled litter picks and bin collections - but what happens between them?" Said Veolia's education and community officer Nicola Gregory.

The scheme, she adds, is not intended a way of using volunteers to plug a gap in Veolia services.

"We can clear a street then someone can go and throw a McDonald's wrapper out the window moments later.

"It's people's behaviour we ewant to change."

Anyone who would like to sign up to become a Street Champion can download an information pack at: www.northampton.gov.uk/recycling or call our local Veolia Community and Education Officer on uk.recycling.northampton@veolia.com or call 020 3567 5488.