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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Tidy-up chief praises Evening Mail's Cumbria clean-up crusade

A NATIONAL charity head has backed the Evening Mail’s Big Clean campaign, urging other communities to follow its example.

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hand-picked Children at George Romney School, Dalton. Including Lois Postlethwaite, left, and Thomas Kirkby, right, help tidy up the school grounds HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50054889B001

Phil Barton, the chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said he was impressed by the work going on in Furness, especially the efforts by Barrow, Ulverston and Millom volunteers to keep streets, parks and beaches clean

The Big Clean 2013 has seen scores of residents arm themselves with litter pickers and broomsticks to restore civic pride in many “grot-spots” in the borough. In the process, they have removed tonnes of rubbish from the streets.

In England, Keep Britain Tidy estimates street cleansing costs the country £1bn, which they say would pay either for 4,400 libraries, 38,644 social care workers or 33,200 nurses.

Mr Barton told the Evening Mail: “It is thanks to people like yourselves taking action that problems with litter are being reduced. This sort of campaign is exactly what we want to see more of.

“The government has backed away from taking action and has cut budgets for many councils, so it is increasingly coming down to the local communities themselves to fight litter.

“There’s a worry that another round of cuts to local government is on the way and we fear street cleaning is an area that is going to be hit.”

The Evening Mail has supported several clean-up drives since September, with schools, businesses and clubs pitching in.

Keep Britain Tidy recently organised a social experiment called Which side of the fence are you on?, with authorities in 25 cities. As part of the experiment, one side of the street was be cleaned as normal, the other was left uncleaned, showing the amount of litter that was dropped and whether members of the public would act.

Mr Barton said the campaign made the problem of littering much more visible.

The charity wants to be a partner in next year’s Big Clean.

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