Roger Gambba-Jones

War of words over litter pickers’ bags

A war of words over litter has erupted on social media between a district councillor and members of the town’s Wombles organisation.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones has been asked to stand down following exchanges after online discussions over the Spalding Town Form meeting he chairs.

As reported, he raised litter-picking at the meeting, urging those doing it to work with the council so rubbish could be collected after being picked up.

Many of the Wombles of Spalding Common group reacted angrily to the reports and criticised Coun Gambba-Jones and council workers.

He then tweeted his anger including: “Disappointing, misdirected (and even ignorant and abusive) comments on Spalding News and Views (A Facebook group operated by the Lincolnshire Live website).”

When challenged he said that “It’s only the gob***** on Spalding N&V that are mouthing off and need putting back in their cages.”

When the work of the volunteers who have collected around 9,000 bags of litter since January was pointed-out to Coun Gambba-Jones, he replied with: “Chasing piles of bags in odd places in Spalding and other areas actually takes staff away from routine jobs.”

He added that the council was not looking to take over the group, as was suggested, but it wanted them to “stop dumping their bags anywhere and then not telling us.

“If bags are dumped indiscriminately, without telling SHDC so they can be cleared, it might get reported by those living nearby and that could make them liable for a fine for fly tipping.”

He added that he had been litter picking before “it became fashionable, so please don’t try to preach to me.”

“I am deeply offended by your comments. Myself and fellow Wombles were actually stopped by the council collection guys and thanked for helping them keep the town clean,” said one group member. “We do not leave our bags anywhere we like. We sticker them, try and take them home or then leave at a nearby dustbin. We are responsible decent human beings who love this town,” said another on Twitter.

Coun Gambba-Jones, who had already been banned from commenting on the Wombles Facebook page told The Voice that he didn’t mind the abuse he was getting as it was “part of the job” but wanted to defend district council staff who he said were also being abused online.

He said he didn’t regret what he’d tweeted as the abuse was “nothing compared to what was given out.”

South Holland District Council said that as of Tuesday no complaints had been made against Coun Gambba-Jones.

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