A voluntary litter-picking group in Pendle are appealing to people to "fight back" against fly-tipping in the borough and to help the council to have a positive impact on the local environment.
Founded two years ago, Pick Up 4 Pendle operates weekly, cooperating fully with Pendle Council Waste Services and reporting any issues with private properties and fly-tipping in an effort to improve the bucolic borough's dismal fly-tipping record, which has seen them retrieve a myriad of trash including some as strange as a dumped cash machine.
According to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Pendle ranked behind only the veritable metropolises of Manchester and Liverpool in terms of the number of cases of fly-tipping between April 2016 and March 2017, with a staggering 5,704 incidents - the equivalent of 17 per day - costing the local council £332,979, and Pick Up 4 Pendle founder, Peter Smith, says enough is enough.
"Not enough is being done to address all the repercussions concerning waste," said Peter, from Nelson. "Too many people are simply moaning: 'it's not my litter, it's council's job, etc..' The public themselves are responsible and need to wake up to it all; we must fight back and show the offenders it will not be tolerated."
With around 20 members who meet up once a week, Pick Up 4 Pendle are keen to help the council, who Peter says "cannot cope alone", and get involved as a community. Having set the group up with his wife, Andrea, Peter also said that the group are happy to help anyone by request with a problem area, with a view to setting up a group of their own.
"New members are always welcome," he said. "Requests for help are also welcome and we urge councillors to form groups in their respective wards. Three visits a year in most areas would be sufficient to keep on top of the problem."
Having recently received the support of Pendle’s Mayor, Councillor David Whalley, and Mayoress, Barbara Whalley, who invited the Pick Up 4 Pendle team to Nelson Town Hall for an official thank you for all their work, the group's sterling efforts were lauded Councillor Whalley.
"The Pick Up for Pendle volunteers do a brilliant job and we wanted to say thank you with scones and tea in the Town Hall as they have been out in some very cold conditions this winter," the Mayor said.
"We’ve been pleased to support Peter’s efforts," added Audrey Drinkwater, Pendle Council’s Senior Locality and Communities Officer. "He’s doing a great job and we hope that other residents will join him to improve Pendle’s environment.”