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Spalding litter pickers call for rubbish row councillor 'needs to apologise or stand down'

Volunteer litter pickers have labelled a district councillor ‘out of touch with reality’, following comments he posted on social media but Roger Gambba-Jones says he was defending hard working staff.

The Wombles of Spalding Common have hit back at Coun Gambba-Jones after he posted comments on Twitter regarding a reaction to South Holland District Council’s plan to work closely with all litter picking groups in the area.

Taking to his Twitter page, Coun Gambba-Jones said that he felt comments regarding the plan, which it is hoped will encourage better communication between SHDC and the groups, posted on social media were “disappointing, misdirected (and even ignorant and abusive)”.

Wombles on a COVID safe litter pick (43930664)
Wombles on a COVID safe litter pick (43930664)

In another post Coun Gambba-Jones said: “Comments re: litter picking groups being taken over by SHDC. Alternative is that group keeps leaving bags anywhere they like, a member of public or nearby resident complains and those people get fined for fly tipping. Remember, if you pick rubbish up, you own it.”

He later went on to say his comments related to “the gob****s (on the Spalding News and Views Facebook page) that are mouthing off and need putting back in their cages”.

A spokesperson for the Wombles of Spalding Common, who estimate they have collected around 9,000 bags of rubbish since they formed in January, said: “I’m shocked and disappointed that a councillor who should be representing the people of Spalding is so far out of touch with reality.

Roger Gambba-Jones
Roger Gambba-Jones

“He has acted unprofessionally and in any other job the person would be disciplined and made to apologise. Does SHDC have a social media policy? If they do, I’m sure his conduct has breached this policy.

“This is not his first negative outburst and some of his responses are out of order. SHDC and the Conservative Party need to investigate this and deal with the man. Maybe his time is up? He needs to apologise or stand down.

“A large part of the population of Spalding is now against him and I don’t think he can turn this around. SHDC have been great with collecting our bags which we spend hours reporting for the good of Spalding. I would like to remind people that we all have full time jobs so this is on top of that too.”

However, Coun Gambba-Jones says that he took to Twitter to defend district council staff who were coming under fire.

Speaking to the Lincolnshire Free Press, he said: “I’m upset for the troops, which is why I went onto Twitter. They are attacking refuse collectors and street cleaners, saying that they are lazy and telling them how to do their job.

“I’m not going to accept that – they are hardworking individuals and they are having to read this. It sickens me.

“They can’t fight back so I’m doing it for them.

“I am frustrated at the ignorance – officers are simply trying to bring the whole situation under control and they’re trying to get a balance for provision for everybody across the district.

“People are not listening to the whole debate.”

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