Horrendous litter gathering every day in a Banbury shopping side-street provokes social media storm

Litter being discarded in huge amounts in a Banbury shopping street is provoking a huge storm of protest on social media sites.

Photos of rubbish, uploaded to the Banbury Info site by a concerned shopper
Photos of rubbish, uploaded to the Banbury Info site by a concerned shopper

The rubbish, accumulating in Malthouse Walk - between Bridge Street and the George Street car park - should be removed on a regular basis by the landowner.

However the company - believed to be an investment concern based in London - is not performing its duty and until recently, a group of volunteers - the Banbury Litter Pickers - has been clearing the litter to keep the town centre tidy and attractive.

But the group says it has been told by Cherwell District Council to stop clearing up in order to persuade the responsible landowner to take up the job.

Malthouse Walk's litter problem has been a big talking point on social media

This afternoon (Monday) the council said it had lodged an enforcement action notice with the landowner.

A resident on the Banbury Info Facebook group said: "This is private land and the landowner consistently refuses to organise cleaning, so volunteers have cleaned it. However Cherwell District Council have asked that volunteers stop cleaning it while they monitor it and gather evidence for a case against the landowners.

"This is ongoing at the moment and CDC are hoping to have a sufficiently robust case and evidence to take the landowners to court. We are being asked to support the CDC in this, to grit our teeth and bear the mess until the case is brought."

One commentator on the Banbury Litter Pickers' Facebook page said: "I have been made aware the this is not the responsibility of Cherwell District Council, however they should still stand a responsibility level to the fact that nobody is dealing with a hazard of health and environment and fire (risk).

A private company is responsible for clearing rubbish on Malthouse Walk but the job is not being done

"I hope next time I walk from Morrisons to Boots I don't see this mass of detritus flowing away from the bins."

Banbury Litter Pickers is a group of volunteers who are trying to make the town to look 'presentable and enjoyable for everyone'. They also hope to set a good example to younger generations to take pride in their home town.

Cllr Hannah Banfield (Labour) district and county councillor for the town centre, and town councillor Steve Kilsby were among several people who reported the matter to Cherwell's environmental enforcement officer who last week issued a notice to the landowner ordering them to clear the rubbish by February 8.

Cherwell District Council said in a statement: "Cherwell District Council fully sympathises with public concern over the condition of Malthouse Walk. We have taken enforcement action against the landowner and are making frequent visits to assess what is happening.

"The council does not clear private land when it is the responsibility of the landowner to keep it in good order, but we will take further enforcement action if the landowner fails to comply with the notice served.”