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Letter: Young Littering Bellfields Is A Disgrace

Published on: 23 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 23 Aug, 2020

From Sean Jenkinson:

I live at the top of Bellfield’s green and to see the young people that come up here in cars, eat their take away and then just throw the rubbish out on the road, is a disgrace.

They have a picnic and leave their rubbish on the green. One group the other day snapped the new trees in half so they could play with them.

This is the generation that says they care about the planet.

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test 8 Responses to Letter: Young Littering Bellfields Is A Disgrace

  1. Roland Dunster Reply

    August 23, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Apologies for frequently making this point, but until national and local authorities (including GBC) overcome their squeamishness and understand that they must actively tackle the causes and not just the symptoms, this highly antisocial, consequence-free behaviour will continue unabated.

    Much firmer – well targeted preventative messaging, full enforcement of laws and fines, and truly comprehensive cleaning are required.

    Clean Up Britain (not to be confused with Keep Britain Tidy) can advise on this to bring about real change.

    The present failing and expensive vicious cycle of allowing littering; cursory cleaning; allowing littering is not a serious strategy, locally or nationally.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    August 24, 2020 at 8:28 am

    The only way to stop littering is to challenge at the source of the problem.

    At Riverside and Bowers Lane, four or five regular visitors clear up litter. We don’t expect GBC to do it, and when we see people with potential litter, we remind them to bring it back to the bags. Most do!

    Interestingly, the main source of litter and graffiti is from the same location and entrance to the park, mentioned above.

  3. Brian Creese, Guildford Labour Party Reply

    August 24, 2020 at 10:27 am

    I have great sympathy with Sean Jenkinson; there is nothing as frustrating as seeing large amounts of litter and mess left when people leave an area after enjoying themselves.

    While it may be that younger people are often the worst offenders, it is all too usual to see whole family groups leave the countryside – or a café table or train compartment for that matter – in a disgraceful state. As a nation we do seem to be particularly litter-prone (think back to being in Germany or Austria for instance!).

    I have informally mentioned this to Guildford Extinction Rebellion, that saving the planet starts from home, and that it needs to be a far more prominent part of their education programme that (as we used to say) the personal is political, and what you do close to home should reflect your views of the planet.

    Environmentally conscious young (and older) people need to take this on board and police their own and others littering behaviour more rigorously. Everyone needs to understand that leaving a mess behind for others to clear up is not acceptable behaviour.

  4. David Roberts Reply

    August 24, 2020 at 11:27 am

    My take on litter (see: Opinion: We’re Missing the Point About Our Litter Problem) is that policy should be directed towards encouraging responsible people to clean up other people’s mess, instead of just moaning about it in their very British way. I know this doesn’t sound fair, but reforming the irresponsible minority is a far harder task.

    Visible leadership is key. When did you last see your council leaders setting a good example by litter-picking?

  5. James Walsh Reply

    August 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    One of the most disappointing things I’ve experienced during lockdown is the complete disregard for the environment and other people shown by some anti-social elements.

    It would be wrong to say this is all down to young people – I’ve seen middle-aged and elderly people leaving their rubbish behind and and not picking up up their dog mess too.

    One of my pet hates, and I have seen a lot of it in recent months, is the hanging of dog mess bags in trees or dumped by woodland paths. Not to mention those who don’t bother cleaning up after their pet at all.

    We all need to take better care of an environment, and that means calling out the litter louts and those fouling our open spaces and shaming them into taking action. Bellfields Green is a fantastic open space in my ward and I am sorry that an inconsiderate minority are intent on spoiling it for everyone else. Breaking the new trees is nothing short of despicable.

    James Walsh is a Guildford Borough councillor (Stoke, Labour).

  6. Paul Robinson Reply

    August 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Is it a British ‘thing’? When I worked Heathrow and Gatwick and boarded a plane that had arrived from Japan the cabin was spotless. Board a plane from the US or the Caribbean, the cabin looked like a bomb had hit it.

    I was at Riverside this morning and in bushes to the side of the picnic table, close to the car park, was a discarded empty box of Budweiser (other beers are available) surrounded by the empty bottles. You would think if they had managed to carry the comparatively heavy box from the car park to the table, they could have carried the lighter box and empty bottles back again.

  7. M Smith Reply

    August 25, 2020 at 7:41 am

    If people are seen chucking litter out of cars, surely the thing to do is to note down the car number and report the matter to the Police.

    There is little point in just clearing up litter if we do not also try to prevent its recurrence by prosecuting the litterers.

  8. David Roberts Reply

    August 25, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Well, actually, there is a point. See ‘broken windows theory’, which holds that it does deter recurrence.

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