Litter pickers have taken on the task of clearing discarded rubbish to make Banbury a tidier, cleaner, brighter town for everyone

A band of hard-working, dedicated litter-pickers has been working behind the scenes to clear Banbury of discarded rubbish and make the town a better place to live and work in.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:53 pm
David Clare of Banbury Litter Pickers collects rubbish in a Banbury park

The Banbury Litter Pickers, created by Jamie Jesset, have their own Facebook page and the group has been joined by a number of rubbish collectors - including mums and their children.

Litter picker Louise Passey told the Banbury Guardian: "It really is sad to see how much rubbish there is everywhere and we thought it might be a good idea to get more people in the town involved in litter picking. Banbury Litter Pickers' members are great but they would be happy to drum up more volunteers as it's such a big town.

"I live in Middleton Cheney and I pick litter here and in Banbury sometimes. I just want to get it out there that if we all did a bit we could make a real difference. Why do people just walk on past it? There's only so many council workers to cope but if we all did our bit our town and villages could be so much tidier.

Paul Woodman is one of the regular volunteers for Banbury Litter Pickers

"It's not good for the environment. I did Blacklock Hill recently and it's just awful. Cars go down at night and throw their rubbish out including empty alcohol bottles. I got two sacks full last time I went out but it's not scratched the surface."

Ms Passey sang the praises of Paul Woodman and Paul Clare who go out every day to clear rubbish from various areas of Banbury.

"They both head out every day to tidy up and make a difference so they need a big 'thank you' and some recognition for all their efforts," she said.

"Banbury Litter Pickers need more volunteers. It would be great if clubs or schools would get involved. Litter picking tools and black sacks can be provided to anyone wishing to take part - the more the merrier. Once the litter is ready for collection an email to Cherwell District Council can be sent."

The volunteers collect rubbish in all areas of Banbury, from roadsides and parks to the town centre streets

Ms Passey said she felt the councils, highways departments and fast food outlets should be doing more to tackle litter. And she suggested that council grass maintenance workers could be involved.

"Why can't the council workers who cut and strim the grass collect the rubbish first or afterwards rather than leave it strewn everywhere. It seems they even chop it up while they are cutting - surely this can’t be good for the environment?" she said.

Ed Potter - Assistant Director Environmental Services, said Cherwell District Council is responsible for removing litter on the public highway.

"We would need more detail regarding locations where there is an issue regarding litter so that we can get our staff to remove it," he said.

Some areas attract more litter than others

"Our street cleansing manager, Brendan Bodger, and our street cleansing supervisor Ben Dyche always welcome residents and visitors highlighting areas which require attention. Our street cleansing teams are out each day litter picking and emptying litter bins so (reports of) any areas which need attention to bring back to a high standard are always welcome."

Messages can be relayed through to Cherwell via its Facebook page or go through the Report It page on the council's website https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/reportA spokesman for Banbury Town Council (BTC) said BTC is only responsible for its own parks and garden areas. Many areas in town are privately owned by shops, businesses and private landlords who have responsibility to clean those areas.

“Banbury is a great place to live, work and visit. It is a great shame if a few irresponsible people are spoiling the enjoyment of the majority," the spokesman said.

“Litter is everyone’s responsibility. Waste bins are provided in most areas and dropping litter is an offence. We appeal to everyone to do the right thing and take litter home or use the bins provided. The town council isn’t the responsible authority for litter and rubbish collection in Cherwell - that is a district council responsibility.

Banbury Litter Pickers volunteers use collection tools to ensure their own safety while clearing discarded rubbish

“Banbury Town Council has a contract with Cherwell District Council under which CDC’s cleansing department removes litter from the park areas that the town council owns.”