Tuesday, 23 May 2017

'Village looking worse than ever due to rubbish'

A GROWING litter problem in Goring is not being tackled, say residents.

A number of bins has been allowed to overflow and large amounts of rubbish have been discarded in green spaces around the village.

The kerbside gutters in High Street have not been swept since the autumn and have accumulated so much dirt that weeds are beginning to grow in them.

Residents have asked Goring Parish Council and South Oxfordshire District Council to take action. They say the village now looks less attractive and this could jeopardise its efforts to win a fifth Britain in Bloom regional award this summer.

Maureen Whicher, of Gatehampton Road, said the dog waste bin at Sheepcot Field was overflowing with bags of animal waste over Easter and the following weekend. The area was also strewn with empty drinks cans and sweet wrappers.

A container of blue paint had been discarded in a hedge and her dog’s legs were stained when it walked through it.

Mrs Whicher said: “I actually smiled when my dog suddenly appeared with four blue legs but if a child walks in it their parents will definitely not be happy.”

Ned Worsley, of Millers Close, said foxes ripped open an overflowing litter bin on Gardiner recreation ground, off Upper Red Cross Road, and spread its contents over the field last month.

Gill Haigh said that boats which moor by Ferry Lane dumped their waste in regular bins, contributing to the overflowing problem, instead of using the special bins under Goring bridge.

She said more signage was needed to inform boat owners.

Complaints about rats being attracted by overflowing bins were made by Pauline Knollys, of Howgate Drive, Kerry Harding, of Nuns Acre, and Ron and Stephanie Bridle, of Cleeve Road. They said the bins at the Wheel Orchard car park, off Station Road, were particularly bad.

Mrs Bridle, who organises the Bloom bid with her husband, complained at a meeting of the parish council on Monday.

She said: “I’m concerned because the village has never looked so bad and the judges will count it against us if they see it.”

Council chairman Kevin Bulmer said the district council was responsible for street cleaning and emptying the bins at the car park, Sheepcot field and throughout the village centre.

He said he had passed on the complaints and had been promised that Biffa, the council’s contractor, would take action.

Councillor Bulmer said: “I agree that it’s grim but I’ve been assured by the relevant cabinet member that they are on the case. I’m not convinced that the gutters have been swept for months.”

The bins at Gardiner recreation ground are the parish council’s responsibility.

It says its contractor BGG failed to empty them last month, for which it apologised.

Parish clerk Colin Ratcliff said: “It is unfortunate that the bins did not get emptied in the week leading up to Easter but, to put this in perspective, it is the first occasion… being a long bank holiday weekend meant it took a while to resolve.”

He pointed out that BGG conducted a weekly litter pick at all of the village’s open spaces while the parish council’s own cleaner spent an hour a week clearing Sheepcot field and the village centre.

A South Oxfordshire District Council spokesman said: “We received a report of an overflowing bin in April which our waste crew dealt with. However, this is the only incident reported to us recently and we are not aware of a wider problem.

“Public litter bins are emptied on a weekly basis in Goring and our road sweeper will also be visiting the area this week.”

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