WITH regards to your front page campaign I would like to say that Stamford in general has a terrible rubbish problem. This has always surprised me. With it being such a tourist magnate you’d think rubbish was dealt with promptly by the authorities who are paid to do so by us tax payers. I’ve visited many other popular places that are nowhere near as bad!
But there are certain black spots that are particularly horrendous, many as per mentioned by others - The Meadows, the lanes leading off High Street and also all the way along Casterton Road into Scotgate, it being a main route for cars and pedestrians into town. There are also not enough bins.
The most depressing places to pass are slip roads, both coming off the A1 into Stamford, the Oakham/Empingham Road turning always has fresh piles of rubbish dumped out of people’s cars, and also going to Peterborough the slip road onto the A47 is appalling and looks like it never gets cleared.
What we should all be asking is what on earth is wrong with some people?
Why do they care so less for the beautiful place they inhabit and have this stinking attitude that someone else can clear up after them?
I remember growing up with the Countryside Code but there appears to be nothing like that now through the education system and it’s pot luck whether parents are good role models and don’t drop litter or ensure their children don’t either.
It also seems perfectly acceptable these days for an offender (be it litter or dog-fouling) to give someone a mouthful of abuse when confronted! Whatever happened to having your conscience pricked?
YOUR article regarding help tidying up came at a very opportune moment considering that the opening hours of the Bourne Recycling Centre have just been drastically reduced.
On the second occasion that I tried to take rubbish to the centre I was faced with a huge queue of cars all using fuel whilst waiting and polluting the atmosphere.
So much for recycling helping “green targets” and I hate to think how much worse this will become at weekends.
In an effort to reduce the wait in my car I parked up down the road and decided to walk the relatively small and light waste that I had to the skips. I was turned away from doing so by an employee there saying he couldn’t allow me to walk through as this was against health and safety rules.
The actual skip was no more than 15 yards away and a shorter walk than I have experienced before when taking my car into the area in the “good old days” of sanity!
When I expressed my disbelief at this he told me he was simply following orders. Obviously common sense and initiative are not permitted in today’s working environment.
So we have a situation where we are encouraged to take waste to a recycling centre but only on a few days a week. We then cannot enter without a vehicle and the wait to actually get into the centre adds extra pollution to the atmosphere due to the number of vehicles queuing to use the facility.
No doubt this is a cost-cutting exercise but again this is on something that is actually needed when costs can be reduced in other areas such as the “luxury” of having a newspaper issued by the council telling us how wonderful they are and which is most probably read only by a minority and then put in the waste.
Just make sure you don’t save all the rubbish up in the hope of taking it to the recycling centre.
No doubt we will need to tidy up even more now that fly tipping has been more actively encouraged by the council’s actions.
CONGRATULATIONS on your Let’s Clean Up campaign to reduce the amount of litter that is dropped in our streets. This very important aspect of our everyday lives, which has been ignored for too long, has now become a major problem that needs to be addressed.
We all need to take responsibility for the cleanliness of our environment by setting an example to our children both at home and at school. We cannot expect other people to clean up after us.
I feel there is another aspect to the campaign that needs our attention and also makes our towns look shabby.
In the present economic climate, high street shops are regularly becoming vacant and are difficult to re-let. It is unfortunate that when a property is left empty and looking derelict it tends to attract anti-social behaviour. This degrades the visual appearance of the town creating the perception that it is in decline.
Oakham Town Council and Oakham Town Partnership are both working hard to attract visitors to the town but unfortunately this is being undermined by the poor internal state of two shops on Oakham High Street. Flores House has been vacant for some months and Buy the Book for a shorter period.
The interior of Flores House is in a disgusting state with rubbish strewn about reflecting badly on the town in the eyes of both residents and visitors. I have received a number of complaints from residents about the state of both properties that are being let by Murray’s Estate Agents. Murray’s have contacted the owner/developer of Flores House in an attempt to obtain an improvement but without success.
Also the situation regarding the future of the Royal British Legion building in High Street, which commands a prime position, is still unknown but the deteriorating condition of all three gives cause for concern.
It’s my view that individually we have a responsibility to ensure that our towns are kept in a clean and tidy condition but the owners and developers of the empty shops also have the same accountability for their properties. It has to be a joint initiative.
Chairman of Oakham Town Partnership and Oakham town councillor
I was delighted to see your front page last week calling for an urgent drive against litter in Rutland.
The increase in fly-tipping has become a disgrace and some of our otherwise lovely country lanes have become corridors of rubbish. Some parts of the A47 are simply disgusting.
I have enormous sympathy with the council who under difficult financial constraints are the people required to clear up after inconsiderate and selfish people.
I hope anyone who sees someone throw rubbish out of their car will immediately take their plate number and inform the local police as this should lead to the issuing of a fixed penalty of £80 for the perpetrator.
I would also like to think that those who are given a community sentence can be made to tidy up our kerbsides and verges.
Full marks to the Mercury for their campaign and I hope all of us who live in the county and love it can bear down on uncivilised people who try to make a mess of it.
Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton
House of Commons