Residents roll up their sleeves

Homes For Northumberland's Simon Crossthwaite (centre) with the  litter pickersthat include county councill staff and local volunteers and children.
Homes For Northumberland's Simon Crossthwaite (centre) with the litter pickersthat include county councill staff and local volunteers and children.

BATTLING back against the litter bugs, residents rolled up their sleeves to give parts of Amble a spring clean, as part of a Big Tidy Up event.

The day was organised by Homes for Northumberland in partnership with Northumberland County Council and Take Action Positive Steps.

The organisations joined forces to help address the town’s litter problem, while getting locals involved in clearing up their area.

During the event, staff and residents completed a litter pick of Straffen Court – described as a rubbish hot-spot, which is partly caused by wind blowing refuse into bushes and shrubs on the estate.

Town councillors, Craig Weir, Kate Morrison and Jane Dargue, also took part and helped to clear six large bags of litter, plus a number of other discarded items from the area.

Northumberland County Council’s NEAT Team collected rubbish, including discarded mattresses, unwanted household items and other general refuse from around the Radcliffe Estate and cleared the key fly-tipping areas.

Twelve local children also took part in a Children’s Recycling Day at Amble Boys’ Club, which included a number of craft activities organised by staff from Take Action Positive Steps.

The children ended the day with a litter pick in the area around the Boys’ Club, clearing a further five bags of rubbish.

Simon Crosthwaite, resident involvement officer at Homes for Northumberland, said: “Our aim is to encourage residents to get involved with their community and make it a cleaner, greener place for everyone to live.

“Tenants attending the Big Tidy Up showed great community spirit and pride in their estate during the event.

“It was fantastic to see tenants, town councillors, children and staff from partner organisations all pulling together to make a real difference to their community and getting into the spirit of collecting as much litter as possible.

“Everyone who attended worked extremely hard and their efforts were invaluable. We would like to say a big thank you to those who attended and supported the event.”

Sara Jenson-Boon, from Take Action Positive Steps, said: “Working in partnership with Homes for Northumberland in the Big Tidy Up has been great. Even though the weather was wet and cold the children loved it. It makes them understand the importance of putting their rubbish in the bin and not throwing it down on the ground. The children are aware of the damage it can do to the environment and the animals it can harm, as well as how messy it makes Amble look.”

Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council, said: “We were very pleased to support the Big Tidy Up event.

“Through the county council’s LOVE Northumberland campaign we would encourage people to inform us about litter and fly-tipping so that we can clear the areas affected and prevent this happening in future.

“By working with local people, who clearly care about the environment they live in, we can make sure the thoughtless and illegal actions of fly-tippers do not spoil the surroundings for everyone else.”