Over recent columns I have written a lot about pride: in our neighbourhood; our country, even ourselves. But shame remains all around us.
Recently we holidayed in Cornwall, day-tripped to Manchester and generally got out and about enjoying summer. But wherever we went, even if only to Fleetwood, St Annes or Lytham, there was always less litter than here in Blackpool.
In Lytham a tennis friend, Marjory, champions the tidy-up campaign.
She told us:“Whenever I see kids drop a sweet wrapper, or youths discard a pizza or sandwich box, I pick it up and say, ‘This belongs to you, I believe’.”
So then what happens?
“Usually, they’re so surprised, or embarrassed, they take it back,” she reported. “Some say, in ignorance or innocence, ‘But I’ve finished with it’. Then I point out a litter bin and suggest they put it in there. They do, too!”
Marjory’s head-on approach perhaps reminds these lazy perpetrators of a former teacher; a watchful neighbour, or community-minded granny. Whatever the case, good luck to her.
The trouble is, here in Blackpool there aren’t litter bins nearby. Long established ones near us have disappeared and even people who ‘poop scoop’ get tired of carrying the bags for miles. The resulting black plague is scattered all about suburban roads.
If we do want to attract visitors to our resort town, the first rule of house for hosts is to keep the place clean and presentable.
After all, it also makes those of us who live here and love the place feel better too.
If lack of funding is holding back officialdom, they should gather more fines from our littered streets – these are just waiting to be pocketed; along with those from illegal parkers and other miscreants. Zero tolerance on the beat is needed, not cruising around on patrol.
Let’s not leave plucky Marjory to do all the work!
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