It is sad to see the efforts of local businesses and the council to raise the profile of Leamington being undermined by the modern day detritus of life that appears to be everywhere one looks. The following examples were a result of a casual walk over the weekend and I think illustrate the point.
Much is made of the Regency heritage of Leamington but the approach to the towpath along the Grand Union Canal of our Victorian forebears continues to be a dumping ground, especially under the numerous bridges, and despite the determined efforts of many local residents. The narrow boat communities who travel on the section through the town report it is one of the worst on the whole canal system for litter.
There is discarded electronic equipment accompanied by bottles and cans under the decorative footbridge over the River Leam from the Pump Room Gardens
The state of the ground surrounding one of our primary schools - with discarded nappies, bottles, crisp packets aluminium cans and dog faeces begs the question as to what the parents think when leaving their children at the school gate. The fact that some of the ground within the school boundary is unkempt may have some bearing.
The playing fields following football matches are discarded with bottles, aluminium cans, orange skins. sock ties, plastic bags, etc. To this must be added the fly tipping, general litter, poo bags and uncollected dog excrement on pathways around the playing fields and common ground.
It is clear that all of us have some responsibility for this sad state of affairs and some form of concerted action is necessary if we are to improve matters. Could I suggest that the local councillors establish an initiative that encourages us all to act on the litter that tarnishes the town? Leaving it for others (council staff presumably) to remove appears to be a common theme here and as a result the offending litter will still remain for tomorrow and the day after.
We could all be encouraged to take our litter home, and maybe take someone else’s too. On a walk a “take one piece of litter home with you” scheme could be encouraged, as elsewhere in the country, as this would soon make inroads into the numbers of discarded plastic bottles, carrier bags and cans.
We could also be encouraged to report litter to the authorities (who exactly?) as there appears to be an assumption that they know of the problem. Clearly they do not or they would be taking action.
Chris Cox, via email