24th July 2021

Somerset West and Taunton Council taking action on litter

Our neighbourhoods, parks and public spaces have become ever more popular with people taking outdoor exercise in line with Government advice during the past year.

Unfortunately in some areas this has led to an increase in litter, so as restrictions ease and the nation prepares to come out of lockdown Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) will be making sure our streets and open spaces are clean and welcoming for residents and visitors.

Staff will be tackling litter in locations across the district, targeting problem areas such as residential streets, highway verges and open spaces.

As the spring clean progresses SWT will also be encouraging members of the pubic to get involved and take pride in their neighbourhoods.

It hopes to see bad habits and carelessness replaced by positive attitudes to litter and a real sense of public responsibility.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, said: “We have some amazing open spaces in and around our towns and it’s wonderful that so many people have taken the opportunity to get out and appreciate them. It’s also been really heartening to see the community spirit that has grown in our residential areas.

“We are always alert to reports of litter which Council staff and our contractors make every effort to clear up, but it would be so much better for everyone’s health and well-being if we can prevent the problem in the first place.

“We aim to educate, inform and empower people so that together we can make a difference and transform our streets, roadsides and open spaces for good.”

The Council’s Open Spaces team have already been working to remove litter, overgrown vegetation and dead and damaged trees at Hankridge Nature Reserve to improve the light which will help maintain the health of the existing tree stock.

SWT has also reinstated the old paths which had been lost under thick mud over the years, as well as creating mounds which have been sown with wildflower seeds.

Cllr Smith Roberts said: “The work strikes a balance between the increasing demand for quality recreational areas and the needs of the local wildlife population in line with our commitment to give equal importance to ecological issues alongside climate emergency actions to provide a better future for everyone.”

SWT would also like to hear from you if you currently take part in or co-ordinate litter clearing efforts in your neighbourhood or if you would like to get involved. Please contact their customer services team at enquiries@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk