Tide of rubbish removed

Councillors and members of FLAG at their latest litter pick-up

Councillors and members of FLAG at their latest litter pick-up

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Thousands of sacks of rubbish left strewn around Fylde’s beaches, streets and parks have been picked up by litter-busters this year, it was revealed today.

Fylde Litter Action Group (FLAG), which was set up in January, unites Fylde Council, street representative volunteers in St Annes and 53 organisations including Lytham Friends of the Estuary and Fairhaven Coastal Care Group.

The group, which picked up 3,608 sacks of rubbish from across the borough last year, is now appealing for more people to volunteer and help keep the borough tidy.

Planned activities include litter-picks, the displaying of public-education posters and a series of ‘action days’ during 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 isn’t a dirty area yet 3,608 sacks of litter is astounding. All of us now owe a debt of gratitude to the volunteers who came together as FLAG.

“Fylde residents are remarkably public-spirited and few of them drop litter but the town hall continues to get complaints of litter and discarded cigarette ends from across the borough.

“It’s good to see that other people feel strongly enough about it to take action themselves – Fylde Council will support them in any way 
possible.”

Organisers say various Keep Britain Tidy studies have shown the impact of litter in coastal and countryside areas like Fylde can be detrimental to tourism and business, as well as being dangerous to children, wildlife and the marine environment.

Mr Matthews added: “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 last month showed that 93 per cent of streets in the borough are now classed as litter-free.

“Litter can also be harmful to children and wildlife, so we hope that many more businesses, schools and other organisations will sign up to FLAG.”

The organisation publishes a newsletter and has a dedicated Litter Action website at www.litteraction.org.uk to help members plan areas of activity and hopes to increase numbers before the main tourist season starts soon.

New recruits can join FLAG on the website at www.fylde.gov.uk