Hit the road to cleaner Wealden

Roadside rubbish, Boship roundabout, Hailsham. SUS-160225-003833008
Roadside rubbish, Boship roundabout, Hailsham. SUS-160225-003833008
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A campaign to get Wealden’s filthy roadsides cleaned up this spring is being launched by the District Council.

Cabinet member Cllr Roy Galley said: “Our roads make us look like a banana republic.

“They are in a shocking state. I think most people are ashamed when they drive through our beautiful countryside and see the rubbish dumped there. Some of it blows out of unprotected waste lorries but lots is simply chucked out of the car window. If we can get these verges clear I think it will encourage people to keep them that way.”

Although the council calls on people to support its ‘Clean for the Queen’ campaign, Cllr Galley wants a longer-term solution and a change of habits. He went on: “I drive along the A27, 26, 22 all the time and I am horrified. It has got progressively worse. People need to take pride in where they live.”

He explained the clean-up is the responsibility of the Joint Waste Contract operators Kier. “They have a programme to deal with this which should start this week on the A22 around Hailsham. It’s particularly bad in the Boship Roundabout-Abbots Wood area. I understand there are safety concerns and they tell me staff are currently being trained to work at the roadside without endangering themselves. They have been slow taking up this issue but hopefully it will be resolved by the date of the Queen’s birthday.”

US-born travel writer Bill Bryson condemns Britain’s mucky environment in his latest book ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ and notes the problem has got much worse since he first arrived here 40 years ago.

Wealden calls on residents to grab a broom and ‘clean for the Queen;’ the biggest community-led clean-up the country has seen. The campaign kicks off on March 4 and aims to get everyone cleaning up their town or village ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday. Cllr Nick Collinson said: “Anyone can register a litter picking event, no group is too big or small. We offer the first 10 groups to sign up a free Volunteer Clean-up Kit with adults’ and children’s litter pickers, gloves and bag openers. During these events tell us where your filled bags will be and Kier will collect them.” Groups should register a clean-up through the website www.cleanforthequeen.co.uk. Free special edition litter sacks can be collected from Council offices in Hailsham and Crowborough Library. Ring: Fiona Berry: 01323 443268.

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