'It is getting worse, not better': Shop owner goes on one-person mission to highlight rubbish in Northampton
A business owner in Northampton is on a social media mission to highlight the state of Northampton's streets.
Cathie Kemp, of Sew Something in Wellingborough Road, has been posting pictures on Twitter of rubbish being dumped outside homes and businesses in the town.
Each post copies in Northampton Borough Council to make them aware of the problem.
Tweets have included: "When I reported this on Tues there were four tyres...Reported for the third time this morning...wonder when it will be cleared?" and "Thank you for making my neighbourhood look so attractive".
Another post said: "No worries, I don't mind walking in the street", referring to litter that had been left outside a home and was strewn all over the street.
The latest post on Wednesday morning shows drinks bottles and cans on a window sill, with the message "Free open bar in Talbot Road."
Cathie said she joined the Facebook group, Northampton Rubbish, a year ago but fears that things have got worse in recent months and that rubbish in the town is getting out of control.
"I think there is a softly, softly approach to dealing with rubbish on streets but there has to be something done.
"There are issues when people put the rubbish out too early [on bin collection days] and there are issues when people leave HIMOs (Homes of Multiple Occupation) and just dump their rubbish outside their home.
"Landlords need to check what's happening at their property. I'm a landlord myself so I know the issues but I make sure I keep a check on what's going on at my property.
"My main frustration is that things are getting worse, not better. I've taken pictures of car licence plates, people dumping rubbish and sent them on to the council. They need to take more action.
"I live in the town centre and have a shop in Wellingborough Road and I'm the only one that sweeps up outside - people need to take pride in their area more."
A report published earlier this month showed that more fines were handed out in Northampton than Leeds, Lincoln, Hackney and Nottingham combined in 2018, with a total of 72 fines relating to household rubbish. The borough council was one of only 19 local authorities in the area to issue fines for bins last year.
And while flytipping figures were revealed to be down 14 percent last year, Councillor Mike Hallam, the cabinet member for the environment, admitted in March there was more that needed to be done.
He said at the time: “It’s going down and we’re heading in the right direction, but there’s a lot more to be done. It still needs to be improved in some areas and we’ve got schemes coming up which will help us focus on that.”