A campaign is being launched to bring the community together to end anti-social behaviour along the riverbank in Spalding once and for all.
The call comes only months after six properties along the stretch from Double Street to Albion Street were targeted with graffiti, including the home of a woman who was attacked by a robber entering through a window to steal her TV.
Three youths were arrested for criminal damage in April and most landlords took immediate action to paint over the graffiti.
At the time, Insp Jo Reeves said: “We are working closely with our partners from a number of agencies to tackle the issue of youth nuisance, ensuring that we adopt a robust approach now evenings are getting lighter and groups spend more time out on the streets.”
But now the graffiti is back – along with the weeds removed by litter pickers and clean-up crusader Sandra White, before she handed back the responsibility to the council and community.
One resident told us: “With the return of the warm weather, I had to face two drunken men sprawled out across a passageway, who were spun round by their feet by another in their group to make a gap on to the riverbank.
It’s hardly the image wanted for what should be the “jewel of the town” – and now councillors are taking action to get multi-agencies, residents and landlords together to return it to the quiet, beautiful location it should be and keep it that way.
Coun Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for community development, said: “We want to hold a meeting involving residents, landlords, the council and all of the litter-picking groups who try to keep the area tidy.
“It’s time for the community to take ownership of the riverbank, which should be the jewel of the town.”
Coun Jack McLean, who launched the Spotless Spalding litter-picking social group to make taking pride in the town fun, agrees the only way forward is with a high profile campaign.
He said: “The best example of this in Spalding is the former Bull and Monkie site.
“The council went in and cleaned it up after failed attempts to contact the owner and because of the high profile coverage of the work and a Pride in South Holland sign went up people were aware of it.
“Months later the area is still not the eyesore it once was.
“This is the perfect time to discuss what is needed, such as bins at benches where there are none, because councillors have just received their £15,000 in their ward budgets.”
“The money is to benefit the community so it can really make a difference.”
Mrs White hopes people will come together and make changes because she believes residents have fallen out of love with the town.
She said: “I don’t feel sad because I don’t think my hard work was for nothing.
“I’m a people person and every day someone would come along and tell me their problems. People have fallen out of love with the town because they are depressed living here.
“The problem isn’t weeds and graffiti. If one woman can solve that problem on her own, it shouldn’t keep happening again.”
If you are interested in attending a public meeting, call Coun McLean on 07761 098517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org