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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Community in Barrow wages war on rubbish for Big Clean

AN army of volunteers waged war against rubbish on the streets of Barrow this weekend.

Councillors, police officers and teachers were among those who gathered on Saturday to take part in the Big Clean.

The group, divided into six teams of litter pickers, collected an impressive 70 bags of rubbish over the course of the day.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock had no qualms about donning some rubber gloves and helping keep the town’s streets tidy.

He said: “I think it’s great that people are coming together to make a difference.

“We often talk a lot about the value of community spirit and this is community spirit in action.

“We love our town and we’re proud of it and I think it’s good that the police are leading this initiative to encourage people to get involved.”

PC Eric McKinley, who coordinated the event, said: “Now and again when I look around the town centre you can see the mess and the litter. The message we’ve picked up from meeting residents is that this is one of the main problems.

“I take pride in the town centre, I’ve worked in it now for eight years and I’ve lived and worked in the borough all my life so I like to see it in a decent condition. I’d hate to see it go into decline.”

While most volunteers spent their time collecting cigarette butts and empty bottles, one or two encountered some larger, and more unusual items.

These included an Asda shopping trolley, a discarded tree, abandoned furniture, sacks of rubble and half a pool table.

The location of these items, which had been illegally flytipped, were recorded to be picked up later by police vehicles.

The day also served as an opportunity to check the condition of the town’s alley gates and remind residents of the importance of keeping them closed to prevent crime and flytipping.

PC McKinley said the day had been a success: “Seventy bin bags is excellent, we’re really pleased. Also, there was no reported damage to the alley gates and that’s really good.

“With the exception of two either side of Harrison Street, all the rest were shut which shows that the message is getting out there.”

The Big Clean is your event. So get in touch with Evening Mail journalist Jonathan Robinson to get involved and arrange new events.

Please email: jonathan.robinson@nwemail.co.uk or tweet @jrobinsonnwem or go to facebook.com/northwesteveningmail and post on the Big Clean link

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