Spalding Today goes on a litter pick with a district councillor for St Paul's ward to see the scale of fly-tipping in one area of the town
A former plumber now representing the St Paul’s area of Spalding has described his one-man crusade against the “never-ending” scale of litter in his ward.
Coun David Ashby, South Holland District Council members for St Paul’s since 2011, has admitted the struggle to “keep on top” of fly-tipping in his ward of about 2,150, according to 2015 figures.
Joining Coun Ashby on one of his monthly litter-picking walks around St Paul’s, the Lincolnshire Free Press saw the full scale of his challenge to help keep the area around Low Road, Queens Road and Juniper Crescent tidy.
Coun Ashby said: “I come down here at least once a month and since I became a district councillor nearly eight years ago, I’ve paid for 35 litter bins to be put in the area through my ward member’s budget.
"But it's still not enough for people who moan when the council's binmen haven't been down to their area.
"My litter pick is a regular thing and on one occasion when I did it, I filled 13 green bags in two hours.
"There's an alleyway between Low Road and Halmergate, near The Birds pub, which is usually filled with cans.
"But nobody reports the mess here and on one of my litter picks, I worked out that someone had spent at least £600 on drink.
"You wouldn't believe how many bottles and cans are dumped here and there was one day when I filled so many green bags, I had to make two journeys in my car to pick it up."
Coun Ashby admitted to being a "bit enraged" by a threat from Spalding businessman Ian Haynes to take legal action against the district council over the cleanliness of the town's streets.
As reported in the Lincolnshire Free Press last week, Mr Haynes wants the council to follow the lead set by neighbouring South Kesteven District Council which launched a £450,000 "Big Clean" programme in August 2017.
Mr Haynes told the Free Press: "There's clearly no programme of works to keep things clean and tidy."
South Holland District Council's current budget for collecting waste is more than £2.3million, about 5.5 per cent of its total spending of just under £42.6million.
Coun Ashby said: "I was a bit enraged about Mr Haynes' complaints because there are councillors who go around picking up rubbish every week.
"Also, the council won't put any litter bins on land that isn't theirs and in some parts of my ward, we can't find out who owns some the green spaces where the litter is terrible.
"One resident has to put up with people just throwing stuff into his garden and when you go to the skate park, it's a nightmare even when the council sends a vehicle to clear up the rubbish every week."
According to Coun Ashby, a change of attitude is needed if the streets and open areas of St Paul's, and Spalding, are to be kept tidy.
He said: "St Paul's has some very nice people living here and I'm proud of it.
"I was a plumber by trade but I always wanted to help people.
"But people think 'I pay my council tax so it's not my responsibility to have bottles and cans picked up'.
"It's a never-ending thing and you can't keep on top of it because once it's cleaned up, you have the same problem a couple of days later."