Tuesday, 03 August 2021

Hit Litter event heralds another blooming year

A SERIES of events will help clean up Henley and promote its horticultural activities.

A SERIES of events will help clean up Henley and promote its horticultural activities.

The annual Hit Litter day organised by Henley in Bloom will take place on April 16.

Each year volunteers clean up “grot spots” across the town where there is no regular sweeping.

Councillor Simon Smith, chairman of the Henley in Bloom committee, said there was a better chance of clement weather in April than in March and therefore of a better turnout too.

Councillor David Eggleton suggested a repeat of last year’s event when people met in Market Place to collect bin bags and litter pickers and were then sent to different parts of the town.

The committee agreed to budget up to £100 for soup to give to the volunteers after their clean-up.

Members were asked for ideas about ways to tackle litter as part of Henley Town Council’s corporate plan.

Caroline Langler suggested having cigarette bins outside all pubs and restaurants, pointing out that cigarette ends were the most common item picked up during the litter pick.

She added: “Could we also get chewing gum boards? We can make it fun — I’ve designed one with the four political leaders with their mouths open.”

Cllr Smith said some of the existing bins had attachments on top on which to stub out cigarettes.

He said he recently had to put out a fire in a bin outside Boots in Bell Street which was started by a discarded butt that not had not been extinguished properly.

Cllr Eggleton said there should be fines for dropping litter.

“If there were more deterrents people wouldn’t do it,” he said. “We need to make sure people dispose of their rubbish and to make people more aware.”

The annual plant sale organised in conjunction with the Henley Allotments Association will be held in Market Place on May 28.

Cllr Smith said he was happy for Henley in Bloom to help cover the cost.

The committee agreed that the theme for this year’s schools in bloom would be “a bee and butterfly summer”.

The town’s six primary schools will be invited to create a year-round habitat for bees and butterflies in their grounds as well as a pictorial record.

Gareth Bartle, the council’s park services manager, said this would help show how Henley in Bloom worked with schools when the town was being judged for competitions.

The committee also agreed to enter this year’s Thames and Chilterns in Bloom contest. Mr Bartle said: “It would be sad if we did not enter. We have kept it going for many years.”

Henley is unable to enter Britain in Bloom this year as it has entered for three consecutive years and must have an obligatory year off before being eligible again.

Last year, the town won gold in both competitions as well as silver in Entente Florale, a European competition.

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