Volunteers unable to clear grot spot

AN offer by volunteers to clean up rubbish next to a railway bridge has had to be turned down.

Spalding resident Adam McVeigh had offered to take a team of youngsters from the Wygate Park area of town to the site between St John’s Road and Green Lane and asked for South Holland District Council to provide vans to take the rubbish away.

But Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, who has vowed to get the area cleared, has said he is unable to accept the kind offer because the land is owned by Network Rail and any volunteers could be trespassing if they were to go on there to pick up the abandoned settees and piles of cans which make the area an eyesore.

Mr McVeigh made the offer and challenged Coun Gambba-Jones to support his efforts after the Lincolnshire Free Press carried the story on Tuesday of Green Lane resident Jon Coupland, who claimed the rubbish had been there for more than two years despite numerous pleas to the council to clear it up.

Coun Gambba-Jones explained that the council has been unable to do so because it is land owned by Network Rail and vowed to “explore all avenues” to force the company to take action.

He said: “If this rubbish was on public land I would be out there with Mr McVeigh and his volunteers to clean it up, but it is on land next to a live railway and it is unlikely Network Rail would give permission for untrained people to go on there because of health and safety issues.

“It is a real shame, but I am not in a position to be able to take up the offer as I would be encouraging them to trespass.”

Mr McVeigh said he was “disappointed” as he had a team who wanted to “get stuck in” to help their community, claiming Coun Gambba-Jones could do more to get permission for a clean-up.

He said: “It is the residents who are suffering and there is nothing stopping him contacting Network Rail if he really wanted it cleaned up, but he has taken the option of dragging it out.”