Friday, 19 July 2019

Volunteers clean up town centre

Volunteers clean up town centre

VOLUNTEERS cleared enough rubbish from Henley’s streets to fill at least 60 bin bags.

More than 100 people, including town councillors and members of the Henley Women’s Institute, the Henley RNLI, Henley in Bloom, the 1st Henley cubs and the Henley Sea Cadets took part in the spring clean on Saturday.

Also present were pupils and parents from Rupert House School in Bell Street and representatives of the Henley Falaise Twinning Association and the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge. They split into groups and patrolled a dozen areas in the town centre including Market Place, Bell Street, Duke Street, Hart Street and the Greys Road and King’s Road car parks as well as the station car park.

Other areas included the verges along Fair Mile, the footpaths and green spaces off Deanfield Avenue, Deanfield Road and Valley Road.

Mayor Glen Lambert and town Councillor Donna Crook cleared the sports grounds at Jubilee Park while the sea cadets walked along the River Thames at Mill and Marsh Meadows, Riverside and Thames Side, fishing rubbish out of the water.

Members of the Gainsborough Residents’ Association cleaned up around their estate off Greys Road as well as the neighbouring Makins recreation ground.

After they had finished, the volunteers enjoyed refreshments on the town hall steps.

The bags were collected by Biffa, South Oxfordshire District Council’s waste contractor, which had provided the volunteers with high-vis tabards and litter-pickers.

Organiser and town councillor David Eggleton said: “It was a fantastic day for litter-picking and we had a better turnout than last year with lots of different organisations taking part.

“The mood was unbelievable — there was a really nice atmosphere with everyone enjoying working together to make the town look nicer.

“We have seen a lot of crisp packets as well as wine and beer bottles, particularly in isolated areas. Hopefully, we’ve saved a few animals because things like the plastic wraps around beer cans can be really harmful to wildlife.

“The solution mostly lies in educating children. My kids always pick up a piece of litter when they pass because it doesn’t take five minutes to put it in the right place.

“We also need to be encouraging people to recycle where possible rather than putting recyclables into landfill.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton said: “The station car park was particularly dirty as the volunteers headed off with four bags and within an hour they needed two more, which they also filled. There were a lot of cigarette butts, which are particularly difficult to pick up, as well as drinks bottles and even part of the front end of a motor scooter.

“Litter has become less of a problem in the town and that’s partly down to great community initiatives like the Refill and Henley Plastic Reduction campaigns.

“We’re installing bins and cleaning up after people and trying to educate them but you’re still going to get people who throw things away without a thought for others. We need to start educating children.”

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