PEOPLE have already started reporting their “grot spots” after we launched our campaign to clear the streets of litter.
We have been inundated with calls reporting areas including Ryhall Road, Drift Road, Kesteven Road, Adelaide Street, The Meadows, the lanes leading off the High Street, Casterton Road and Broad Street - all in Stamford.
We are keen to hear from readers in all of our areas so if you live in Bourne, Rutland, the Deepings or any of the villages and you know of a problem area - please do get in touch.
Our campaign calls on people to report grot spots so we can make sure they are cleared of litter as quickly as possible.
But we also need our readers to get behind the scheme by not dropping litter in the first place and picking up any they see.
The local councils - South Kesteven District Council, Rutland County Council, East Northamptonshire Council and Peterborough City Council – have all pledged to clear areas reported to us as quickly as they can.
We decided to act because many people have contacted us recently expressing their concerns about litter and the lack of pride some members of our communities have in the towns and villages in which we live.
Keeping the area clean is a top priority for local authorities.
South Kesteven District Council spends £1.1m a year on street cleaning.
Portfolio holder for healthy environment John Smith (Con) said: “We take our responsibility for street cleaning extremely seriously.
“As a council we do our best to keep the streets of our district clean and we do ask people not to drop litter but it is an ongoing process. Any areas that are highlighted to us will be inspected and cleaned where necessary.”
The district council also funds community cleaners in Stamford as part of a joint arrangement with Stamford Town Council. The cleaners are dedicated to cleaning the High Street and the alleyways.
The partnership is currently being reviewed to make it more efficient.
Stamford Town Council is also responsible for cleaning The Meadows and the Recreation Ground in Stamford, which is done every morning during the summer, including Sundays and bank holidays.
Town council clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg said: “Litter is a huge issue and a serious concern for residents of Stamford.
“Everyone wants to make sure our town is something we can be proud of and we all have to take responsibility.”
Market Deeping Town Council employs litter pickers to clear the John Eve Field, the Glebe Field, the Rectory Paddocks, Welland Gardens and Riverside Gardens every morning from Monday to Saturday.
And Deeping St James Parish Council employs a litter picker to clean up the Woody Heights Skatepark and outside the shops and the takeaways.
Parish councillor Judy Stevens said: “Our main problem is not litter but dog muck, which we are really trying to combat.
“I think people need to take responsibility for putting their litter in the bin or cleaning up after their dog. It is a real shame if the area looks untidy because people drop their rubbish.”
Rutland County Council carries out daily litter picks in Oakham and Uppingham town centres and all streets within the towns once a month. Villages are cleared monthly or quarterly depending on size. The council is also responsible for laybys on the A47 and A1 in the county.
Council leader Roger Begy (Con) said: “The council clearly has an important role to play in doing this, but we need support and commitment from our local community.
“We are pleased to support this Mercury campaign and if it makes one person think twice before dropping a piece of litter in the local area, then it’s certainly well worth doing.”
Oakham Town Council takes responsibility for litter picking in Cutts Close, Royce’s Playing Field and the playarea in Willow Crescent, as well as All Saints churchyard.
Oakham mayor Joyce Lucas said: “I pick up two pieces of litter every day because it is a real bugbear of mine, in particular cigarette butts.
“I think everyone should do the same and take some responsibility.
“I also deadheaded the daffodils in Braunston Road in Oakham and the amount of litter in there was unbelievable.”
Uppingham Town Council also employs a litter picker who clears rubbish from Tods Piece, as well as in the town centre.
Deputy mayor David Casewell said dog mess was as much of a problem as litter.
He said: “I think Uppingham overall is not too bad but everyone can do their bit to make the town look as good as it can. It is the responsibility of everyone.”
Bourne Town Council tidies the Recreation Ground and organises regular litter picks by volunteers as part of its Bourne in Bloom campaign to get the town looking its best.
Town councillor Judy Smith said: “The volunteers who help pick up rubbish in Bourne are absolutely fantastic but I think it’s very important that if people want the town to look tidy, that they don’t drop litter in the first place and if people see it, they should pick it up.
“There are a lot of problem areas in Bourne and rubbish is a real eyesore.”
Bourne United Charities, which owns the Abbey Lawn, the Wellhead Field and the Memorial Gardens, also employs groundsmen to clear its areas on at least a weekly basis.
Many who took part in a recent litter picking day in Nassington were from the pre-school and the primary school and more than 28 bags of rubbish were collected. Staff from McDonald’s in Stamford and Glinton took their litter van to help and gave out meal vouchers to everyone who took part.
Parish council clerk Sarah Rodger said: “Thank you to those who joined in with this very worthwhile endeavour. We’re all spick and span now for the onset of our exciting jubilee celebrations.”
East Northamptonshire councillor Glenn Harwood (Con) said: “We are pleased to be able to support this anti-litter campaign being run by the Mercury.”
Litter picks have also been run in Harringworth, Apethorpe and King’s Cliffe.
Peterborough City Council is also backing the campaign.
Strategic regulatory services manager Peter Gell said: “It is really important to the council that the streets and pavements are kept looking their best. In a time when the economy is suffering people should stop and think of the additional cost to the council. If we didn’t have to clean up litter and rubbish unnecessarily we would save money.”