A campaign for a blitz that could end anti-social antics, vandalism, graffiti and litter on a stretch of riverbank in Spalding is gathering pace.
Councillors Gary Taylor and Jack McLean are pleading for a multi-agency approach – and backing from members of the public – to return the riverbank parallel to Double Street to its former glory.
The stretch is littered with beer cans, graffiti is daubed on walls and footbridges and it’s a night-time hang-out for groups drinking alcohol.
Coun McLean, Spalding’s youngest councillor, sees the mess on a daily basis but during a tour on Sunday he saw more graffiti than ever, much of it “tucked away” in spots he hadn’t noticed before.
He would like to see more litter bins placed along the riverbank and possibly the removal of a bench or two to stop drinkers gathering at nights – but he is leaving the final action plan to the agencies who come together to back the blitz.
Coun McLean told the Free Press that removing benches could push the riverbank problems closer to the town centre so he wants to hear other people’s ideas so the way ahead can be agreed before anything is done.
“I am always reluctant to do anything that will move an issue,” he said. “It’s better to deal with the devil you know. We don’t want to move it closer to town as that will bring even worse problems.”
Plans for the united blitz – perhaps involving private landlords, the Environment Agency, the Chamber of Commerce, water taxi bosses, residents, dog walkers and volunteers – were aired at Spalding Town Forum.
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones suggested a separate initiative could spring from the plan if volunteers were willing to come forward to help make Spalding a tidier place.
He said the council would train and provide South Holland Street Warden uniforms to people who could walk around in pairs and say to anyone depositing litter “excuse me, do you mind not doing that?” – and that would mean there were more pairs of eyes to prevent littering.
Coun Gambba-Jones told the meeting: “We have only got one guy that we are putting on enforcement.”
• Coun McLean said it’s likely a meeting, to be chaired by Coun Taylor, will be held with multi-agencies and interested parties who come forward to decide the way ahead. People keen to attend – and see the blitz launched – can contact Coun McLean on 07761 098517.