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Praise For Bexley’s Brilliant Volunteer Litter Pickers

There was a bumper turnout at an event organised by the Council to celebrate Bexley’s growing army of volunteer litter pickers this week (26 September).

Volunteers of all ages and from all parts of the borough were thanked for the fantastic work they do by the Mayor of Bexley, Cllr Peter Reader, Leader of the Council, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE and Cllr Peter Craske, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure.

There are now more than 200 volunteer litter pickers working in every ward in the borough. They include youth, community and church groups, as well as many individuals who work on the own. The Council provides them with equipment and support.

Cllr Craske said: “We organised the event to thank the volunteers for all the work they do and to encourage more people to get involved. The scheme started a couple of years ago and now we have more than 200 people. We are all really grateful for the work they do to keep the borough looking its best.”

The Mayor said: “I am hugely impressed by the commitment the volunteers bring to the scheme. There is a real and noticeable difference in the appearance of our streets, parks and open spaces thanks to the work they do.”

In her thank you, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said: “Complaints about the cleanness of our streets have gone down significantly this year, and the team of volunteers can be very proud of the part they have played in that.”

She added that the Council is looking to do more: “We spend nearly £3 million a year on street cleaning and we are constantly looking for ways to tackle the increasing amount of litter people dispose of thoughtlessly. We’ve reintroduced a litter picking service along key roads, we’ve invested in some new and improved litter bins, and we will soon be taking delivery of a new machine to deep clean our town centres. We introduced a new enforcement service last year to take a robust line on those who are the cause of the problem. We have also launched an education programme in our schools this year about littering, building on the successful work that already takes place to encourage recycling‘’.

At the event the volunteers enjoyed a buffet and were offered a choice of specially embossed polo shirts to thank them for the work they do.

Presentations were also made to the Council staff who run the scheme and support the volunteers: Jennie Beckett, Maria Migdal, Joanne Bradley, Dave Saunders and David Bryce-Smith.