A West Sussex district council has boasted of spending a million pounds a year on a new litter picking initiative designed to “encourage” the cleaning of local streets and countryside. Trouble is, the scheme is hampering people who have been doing if for free for decades because they are not deemed “qualified” under Health And Safety rules.
“I’ve been picking up the litter on this stretch of the road for over 50 years,” says Mr. Kenneth Johnson, an exasperated pensioner living near South Walter, Horsham. He contacted Breitbart London after being told he was no longer “qualified” for the volunteer task.
A council note has put an end something he has readily undertaken for decades. “Then this year, I get a letter saying I need to be chaperoned by a trained leader.
“I’m still wondering what sort of training you need to pick litter up off of the roadside – other than normal common sense! Me and my wife just had to laugh.”
According parish council minutes, “due to Health & Safety changes” local residents around Horsham “cannot organise a ‘Clean Up’ campaign as it has in the past,” because “each group [will need] a Leader with the West Sussex county council leader & tool training and the emergency first aid training.”
The new “Adopt-a-Street initiative” was designed to “encourages residents to take extra care of their street or an area they particularly value by volunteering to pick up the litter left by others.”
“We have a big problem with people throwing litter out car windows. The side of the roads are generally quite grubby,” admits Andrew Baldwin, “cabinet member for the environment” of Horsham District Council, who boasted to the local press in March that they now spend around £1m annually on the initiative.
But rather than encourage residents to pick up littler, the new policy has erected barriers that make it harder for motivated and proud residents to take the initiative and care for their local area.
“The parish clerk is a part time job and I’m sure she does her very best,” says Mr. Johnson. “It’s the overall feeling of being told what you can and can’t do by the nanny state [and the district council] which is so pathetic, which she just happens to be the unfortunate translator of.
“… I still pick up the litter, [and] I do not proposed to be stopped by these new rules,” he defiantly concluded.