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Litter, litter Everywhere, Do Only Some of us Care?

17th January 2021 @ 10:10am – by John Casebourne
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John Casebourne Voluntary Footpath Warden, for the PC and public paths liaison officer for Curry Rivel and SCC. E mail johncasebourne@sky.com

Curry Rivel and Drayton are without doubt wonderful places to live. Both villages have a very caring and compassionate community. You only have to glance through the Curry Rivel News to appreciate the commitment made by some members of these communities.

Onarriving here from Gloucester I was touched by the green and red card scheme that was in place. Placing one or other in my window. Green, I'm ok, red, I need help.  How simple and caring is that?

There are many more fine examples in both villages of members of the community helping those in difficulty, pain and suffering.

Then there is the superb network of countryside public footpaths which crisscross our local parishes, where wildlife can be observed in abundance and is a treat to behold. Tranquil spots, where you are able to enjoy the peace and serenity of these surroundings, even during covid. Many people in England are not so fortunate to have all this on their doorstep!

We also have a real diverse population of skilled and professional women and men from all walks of life, which I believe adds to the richness of our communities.

During the course of the last year, many of you will have spoken to me and even helped me collect up litter as we walked around the parishes of Drayton and Curry Rivel.

With the assistance of both of our Parish Councils, the SSDC and the SCC and our County Councillor Clare Paul, great progress has been achieved to reduce the amount of litter plaguing our network of roads. Together, with the help of our very supportive team of volunteers, we have collectively made a huge difference to the amount of roadside waste degrading our countryside and villages.

As a supporter of education before enforcement, I would like to make an appeal to every member of both communities. Firstly, please could you all kindly make sure that your recycling bins are packed securely. If you need extra bins to help you achieve this, please ask the SSDC. Think about the weather and windy days as this will help to keep our community less littered.
ED. It would also help if we could all check the roadside outside our houses for any recycling that may have been accidentally dropped during the loading process. Thankyou.

Secondly, I would like to appeal to those in our community who drink from bottles and cans whilst walking, cycling or driving, then discard their lager and soft drink cans, vodka and beer bottles, pub glasses, coffee cups and banana skins, orange peel, cigarette packets and butts, sweet wrappers, face masks, wet wipes, tissues, and other litter around our community roads, to stop, and think about the consequences of what you are doing to our world and wildlife.

Consider your actions and recycle or bin your rubbish in the appropriate place, including your dog pooh that some people continue to leave in bags in the hedgerows. No excuses, it is everyone's civic responsibility!

It is no exaggeration to say that since I moved here last March the litter team and I have collected thousands of these pieces of litter during the past ten months. As quick as we clear them, they reappear. The amount of lager cans and vodka bottles we collect suggests antisocial drinking or drink driving!  If you believe that people are drink driving then this is very serious and should be
reported to the police before someone gets badly injured or worse,killed. You can contact the police via 101, 999, their website or Crime stoppers or speaking to them directly. We have two new police officers covering our area and you will be seeing more of them in due course.  So please don't get on the wrong side of them and pick up a fine or get caught drink driving, or excessive speeding risking your job and family income.  No one wants that!

I understand that not all roadside litter is from members of our own communities. However, the evidence we see on a daily basis suggests much of it is. I would add that the type of litter we collect suggests it is not all litter overspill from our council collection teams. Although I would agree some is, most of the litter on bin day is due to way we casually pack our recycling bins.

It is totally unacceptable that such a caring community should be blighted by litter, and a few people who are really not willing to tow the line. Covid is bad enough for us all to have to put up with. There is no place in our great community for selfishness, inconsiderate antisocial behaviour, fly tipping or littering. So please, please, remember it is all about attitude more than enforcement. We all make mistakes and not one of us is squeaky clean, including me! ITIS TIME TO CHANGE OUR ATTITUDE!

Support your community with the correct attitude, please!  If you would like to help clear litter
in any parishes in South Somerset please contact me johncasebourne@sky.com

We can't expect our Government or Councils to continue to spend millions each year to clear up unnecessary roadside rubbish dumped by those who appear not to care about where they live or other peoples communities.

Help to make our voices heard and reverse this huge problem.

I leave you with this extract from the "Tale Of Two Wolves". It is a story of a grandfather using a metaphor of two wolves fighting within him to explain his inner conflicts to his grandson. When his grandson asks which wolf wins, the grandfather answers whichever he chooses to feed is the one that wins!

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