Wombles collect over 1,000 bags

Litter pickers in Spalding, including the hugely popular Wombles group that collected more than 1,000 bags of rubbish in a matter of days recently, are being urged to stay safe while out and about.

The groups were praised by members of Spalding Town Forum members last week when it came up in a meeting.

But concerns were raised about the safety of some litter pickers, particularly those having gone into or near the area’s waterways.

The meeting heard that South Holland District Council had worked with the Environmental Agency to lower the water levels in the town to make previous litter picks safer.

That’s something that councillors said they could look at doing again.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, who chaired the meeting, called the litter pickers “unsung heroes” and said: “We’d like to do more to help them and the resources they’re putting into this.

“The best thing to do with anything that’s risky is to seek any support that we (the district council) can give.

“We’ve been doing this a few years, we’ve a good idea of what we’re doing.

“We’re not trying to be difficult but if we say it’s not a good idea it’s more through experience and knowing what can and can’t go wrong.

“Please reach out to the team and we’ll give anybody as much support as we can.”

The meeting heard that a meeting had been set up by Wombles organisers and the district council to work together more going forward.

That’s partly due to the council claiming that from March 12 to March 24 it disposed of around 1,000 more bags of rubbish from 128 locations as a result of recent litter-picks taking place.

Coun Rob Gibson added: “A thousand bags is absolutely fantastic.

“I’d actually say it’s a lot more than that as when you look at the Wombles Facebook page a lot of us, including when I’ve been out, are taking bags back for our own refuse.”

The district council’s environmental services manager Charlotte Paine said “We want to make sure that anybody who is going out litter picking is doing so safely and also in a way we can support them to be safe and to get it collected as swiftly as possible.

“We’re reaching out to anyone who wants to do a litter pick so that we can keep them safe, get the stuff collected as the last thing you want is all that hard working going to waste because the bags get ripped or fall back down a dyke.”

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