WHEN I first worked for this newspaper, it was based in Victoria Street in Blackpool town centre. Early on Monday mornings I would marvel at the cleanly swept and hosed down streets after a busy weekend.
Nowadays, as I potter about our busy suburban area of Great Marton, I can’t find a bin for my litter. I am glad not to have a dog so I don’t also have to carry home ‘poop scoops’.
From Whitegate Drive I can walk up Preston Old Road, then cut down and along the edge of Stanley Park and only pass one bin. What’s more, that is only there (on the corner of the cul-de-sac at Wren Grove) because our councillor campaigned for it on our neighbourhood’s behalf.
Other bins have now quietly disappeared: apparently too much time, trouble and cost to maintain.
Neither are there poop scoop, or other bins, in the much-used churchyard. No wonder youngsters and those who should know better just drop their litter and chuck their pets’ droppings.
What’s more, that bin we campaigned for is usually full – thanks to people who come from streets away to stuff into it bags of household rubbish. Now, only hours after being emptied, it overflows, yet the litter blowing around the cul-de-sac is ignored by any passing street sweepers.
I say street sweepers but, of course, this is an occasional motorised service; a one-man operation that is probably given far too wide an area to clean properly.
It reminded me of a smart fellow I once met at a quaint village pub near my parents’ retirement home in Meliden, North Wales.
He was a quiet and neat man but friendly and, when asked, turned out to be the local street cleaner. What a pride he took in his work and, as a result, how popular he was with grateful locals.
Come on Blackpool! Let’s put Pride as well as Progress into our town’s motto.
* For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.