Clean-up team in staggering rubbish haul

Volunteers from Axa Insurance on a litter pick near St Annes beach as part of the Fylde Litter Action Group
Volunteers from Axa Insurance on a litter pick near St Annes beach as part of the Fylde Litter Action Group

A team of litter-busters have removed a staggering 7,000 sacks of litter from the area’s streets, beaches and parks since they formed this year.

Now Fylde Litter Action Group (FLAG) which unites Fylde Council volunteers from more than 70 organisations, including Marks and Spencer, Axa, Booths and Lytham Friends of the Estuary, is appealing for more members to keep the borough tidy.

Planned activities include litter-picks, the displaying of public-education posters and a series of action days in which council staff will hand £75 instant penalty notices to people seen dropping litter.

Gareth Matthews, Fylde Council’s waste prevention officer and one of FLAG’s organisers, said: “Fylde is looking fantastic for summer.

“Seven thousand sacks of litter is astounding: residents and visitors owe a huge debt of gratitude to FLAG’s volunteers. Council Tax-payers can’t shoulder the entire burden of removing litter. We are fortunate, however, in having so many public-spirited residents.

“It’s good to see that people feel strongly enough about it to take action themselves – through FLAG, we will support them in any way possible.

“Litter harms residential amenity as well as tourism so we all have an interest in helping the area remain tidy, especially as a council survey in February showed that 93 per cent of streets in the borough are now classed as predominantly litter-free.

“We hope that many more businesses, schools and other organisations will sign up to FLAG.”

FLAG co-ordinators have spent the spring contacting hundreds of businesses and volunteer groups and 175 volunteers have now helped with litter-picking in Fylde.

The organisation publishes a newsletter and has a dedicated Litter Action website at www.litteraction.org.uk to help members plan areas of activity.