Help Spruce Up Your City this Summer

A new anti-littering campaign inviting residents and community groups to sign up to litter-picking events across the City started today at Southchurch Park.

Young volunteers Nancy and Ruby with their mums at Southchurch Park, they re wearing hi visi jackets and are holding litter picking equipment and bags.

Launched by the council, following the Great British Spring Clean, Spruce Up Your City is a call for residents to take part in a clean up of our City leading up to the Queen’s jubilee and beyond.

Litter-picking events will take place in parks across Southend for people to play their part in fostering a sense of pride and joy in the City by keeping local communities clean and tidy.

Those who wish to take individual action can also do so by joining this campaign by signing up to become a Street Champion. Currently, over 750 people are signed up to the initiative, and the council is hopeful the Spruce Up Your City campaign will help boost these numbers further.

Each year, thousands of people up and down the country sign up to Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Great British Spring Clean’ and following its recent success, the council is keen to keep the momentum going and provide residents and community groups with the equipment and support they need to help keep our City spruced up.

The following events are lined up at five of the City’s Green Flag parks:

  • Monday 30 May - Southchurch Park - photos available
  • Tuesday 31 May - Chalkwell Park, 10:00 til 12:00
  • Wednesday 1 June - Priory Park, 10:00 til 12:00
  • Monday 6 June - Shoebury Park, 10:00 til 12:00
  • Tuesday 7 June - Belfairs Park, 10:00 til 12:00

Residents and community groups are encouraged to set up their own events, and the council and its waste partner Veolia will support by providing equipment and arranging for the collection of any sacks filled by the groups.

Cllr Steven Wakefield, substitute cabinet member for public protection, said: “We know there is a real appetite locally for people to play their part in keeping our City clean and tidy. Whilst in an ideal world people wouldn’t drop rubbish at all, we know there is a national issue with littering, and we want to provide the support necessary for anyone wishing to play a proactive role in addressing this issue.

“Veolia work tremendously hard to keep up with the demand, particularly in the busy summer months where we welcome millions of visitors to our award-winning beaches and parks. We want to increase our support to our local communities by providing additional resource on top of the operational cleansing service already in place.

“Our message has been, and remains, crystal clear: put your rubbish in a bin, or if a bin is full, take it home with you. The damage litter causes to the environment and wildlife is well documented, so there is no excuse for it.”

Stuart Atkinson, senior contract manager for Veolia UK, said: “Since launching the Street Champions Scheme in 2018, we’ve been blown away by the number of residents willing to volunteer their time to make a difference in their local environment. We are delighted to have been able to respond to so many residents’ requests to care for their neighbourhood by giving away over 700 kits for free.

“I would like to remind anybody litter picking to stay safe when out and about by wearing the appropriate PPE and reporting any dangerous items such as needles or broken glass on MySouthend for our trained staff to collect.”

Anyone wishing to take part as a Street Champion can do so by meeting at any of the parks listed above on the specified dates and times. Litter picking equipment, gloves and sacks will all be provided free of charge.

Anyone wishing to sign up to the Street Champions initiative can do so by visiting the council’s website: www.southend.gov.uk/streetchampions

Published: 30th May 2022

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