|Wigan's Big Tidy Up gets off the ground
It’s a big problem and big problems need a big solution. And in Wigan, this year’s big solution is The Big Tidy Up.
Today, it all started in earnest with a big joined up effort to tidy Wigan town centre. Council staff, workers from Wigan-based Keep Britain Tidy and town centre businesses made a clean sweep of the town centre – as far as Wigan Pier. And then the teams came together in the town centre with all the bags they'd collected to show exactly how much litter can be left over in just 24 hours.
Throughout April teams from across the council and partner organisations will be joining forces as part of this annual Keep Britain Tidy campaign to help encourage everyone who lives or works in the borough to have a good old spring clean.
And they’ll be looking at litter in all its unsavoury forms: the icky-mess that is discarded chewing gum; selfishly thrown food wrappers and cigarette ends through to the stomach-churning awfulness that is dog dirt.
The Big Tidy Up is part of a wider national campaign that calls on councils, residents, businesses, schools and community groups to work together to help tackle the grime that blights our neighbourhoods.
Throughout April there will be a programme of community clean-ups, road shows, competitions and school activities all aimed at helping to make our borough look its best.
The council is also encouraging residents to do their own local clean-ups and will be providing them with the know-how and tools to do the job.
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Champion for the Environment, Cllr David Molyneux says:
“Spring is on the way and we want our borough to look its best. Our cleansing and neighbourhood teams are doing all they can but litter is everyone’s responsibility, not just the council’s.
“Today, we showed everyone just how much litter can accumulate in our town centre over the course of 24 hours and there really is no need for it.
“There are plenty of litter bins around and if people cannot find one then they should take their litter home, it’s as simple as that.
“We want people to take pride in their communities and in their borough and we know everyone will be behind the Big Tidy Up.”
Community groups, schools, churches and uniformed groups such as the Scouts will all be pitching in. While the council’s Environmental Education Team will be taking the message out to young people in the borough’s schools.
The Big Tidy Up comes hot on the heels of a local enforcement drive which led to more than 70 fines issued to litter-louts and saw a number of fly-tippers taken to court.
Wigan Council’s Environmental Education Co-ordinator Nick Burdekin says: “We are not afraid to take action when necessary but we prefer to work with people and there are many ways that people can help out. It could be as simple as picking up one extra piece of litter they see each day but we also encourage people to take direct action by organising their own events and we can provide help with that. The Big Tidy Up is our chance to make a big difference.”
While Fiona Ashurst from Keep Britain Tidy says: “The success of the Big Tidy Up is down to the people who want to make a real change to the appearance of their neighbourhood.
Fiona adds: “We are delighted that so many people are taking part in a bid to clean up the town and would encourage everyone to follow their example. Wigan is a great place to live and work, and with a little effort it can be even better.
“We all want the best possible environment for ourselves and our families and the Big Tidy Up gives everyone the chance to help achieve it.”
You can register your tidy up event at www.thebigtidyup.org and claim a free campaign pack which includes rubbish sacks, tabards and handy tips on how best to make your event a success.
For more information on waste , litter, the environment in our borough and what you can do visit Wigan Council’s website – www.wigan.gov.uk