Letter: Do you think Northampton is looking cleaner?

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Luke Rogers, aged 15, writes this week thinks recent council changes to keep the town centre looking litter-free have had little impact...

I was interested to read the Chronicle & Echo’s investigation into the recent changes implemented by the council in their efforts to keep our town centre cleaner and the conclusions they drew.

As a resident of Northampton and shopper I do have an interest in the cleanliness of the town and how the town centre is run and managed. I snapped these pictures (Ed - one of which is above), just off St Peter’s Way on Thursday, January, 17. I am sure your readers would agree they are a little disappointing considering the new initiatives having been taken by the council.

I am aware this mountain of litter is probably on what may be described as private ground, as it is at the front of an unoccupied shop – however, this area is in what may be described as a “prestigious” shopping area and on open view to members of the public and visitors to the town. Possibly the local authority may not consider this their responsibility, but I would have considered that an eyesore of this magnitude in the centre of the town would have warranted attention from the cleansing departments responsible.

If this rubbish remains in place because the council do not consider it their responsibility it still sends out a message to the public that it is not a priority to keep the town looking clean and tidy. This accumulation in the event of high winds would soon be distributed into the surrounding area.

It would therefore appear that the use of Kingdom Contractors is for almost concentrating exclusively on cigarette butts, when rubbish has been accumulating in prominent areas of the town over the duration of their contract.

I noticed also in your article that the Northampton Business Improvement officer Rob Purdie has stated: “In principle anything that keeps the town looking clean and tidy gets our support.”

It would seem so simple, when there are up to 12 members of Kingdom patrolling the town centre, to place within their remit a duty to report any ongoing long-term piles of rubbish spotted on their beat. I would suggest that if Mr Purdie had any interest whatsoever in the cleanliness of the town he would have either sent a junior member of staff to walk the town centre streets in question and visually inspect them or had businesses in the area report any problems.

I find this situation particularly disappointing considering the location of this eye sore is just a few steps away from the new council offices at 1 Angel Square – and I would imagine many employees within that building pass this mess on a daily basis –but like Kingdom staff, Mr Purdie, the shopkeepers, and the Angels on the Square, it seems nobody really gives a damn.

Luke Rogers (aged 15), by email