FENLANDER: Litterbugs watch out as council prepares to launch “Tidy Fenland” campaign

A BLITZ on litterbugs will be launched by Fenland District Council next week as part of a wider environmental campaign across the district.

The “Tidy Fenland” project is aimed at curbing the minority of people who dump rubbish like takeaway food cartons, sweet wrappers and cigarette butts on the streets or in parks.

Senior FDC councillors including the Leader, Councillor Alan Melton, will launch the new project in Chatteris on Monday morning (February 7).

Representatives from FDC’s environmental services, Street Scene and Street Pride will also be staging a roadshow and explaining to people how they can get involved.

The roadshow will then visit the markets in March on Wednesday, Wisbech on Thursday and Whittlesey on Friday, all from 9.30am-12.30pm.

“Tidy Fenland” aims to involve hundreds of businesses and volunteers and will focus particularly on litter from takeaway food outlets and areas where smokers stub out their cigarettes.

Cllr Melton said: “Most people who live and work in Fenland do take a pride in the area and want to see their environment preserved and improved.

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“Cleaning up Fenland costs taxpayers about �1,000 a day just on picking up litter. That’s an awful lot of money when we know that eight out of 10 people never drop rubbish. It means the majority are paying the price for the unacceptable behaviour of the minority.”

The campaign will make use of various existing enforcement powers, including fixed penalties, against offenders who ignore warnings.

Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for the environment, said: “The aim is to change the behaviour of the thoughtless minority through education, warnings and, where necessary, fines. We don’t want to hand out lots of fines but for some people a financial penalty is the only threat that works.”

“Tidy Fenland” is the latest initiative in a wider “It’s your Fenland, be proud of it” campaign that encompasses a range of activities designed to engage local communities in helping to improve the district’s environment. Other projects under the same banner are Fenland Renaissance, Street Pride, Fenland In Bloom, Fenland Environmental Enhancement Team (FEET) and the Street Scene team.

Other events and campaigns will follow later in the year.

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