Drinkers’ blight on Grantham town centre
A councillor has put on her gloves and cleaned up an area of town blighted by revellers and fly-tippers.
Coun Charmaine Morgan, a district and county councillor, cleared up discarded bottles and other waste at the weekend, left by revellers, after she was approached by residents sick of the mess.
Dea Vallance, a disabled resident of Brewery Hill, complained she could not use the rear access to her home because so much rubbish had been dumped there.
Coun Morgan had asked the district council to help, but with no success because the area is private.
At the weekend, Coun Morgan decided to take action and, supported by her husband John and two residents, collected more than 12 bags of bottles and tin cans in an hour.
Coun Morgan said: “It is disgraceful that some people see fit to treat the area as a rubbish tip. They forget other people live here.
“While we were there residents reported ongoing night drinking and noise issues in the vicinity, where urinating and drug taking is also occuring.
“I had previously reported concerns regarding the area to the police and SKDC. The scale of waste provided clear evidence of the activity.
“Clearly more action needs to be taken to prevent revellers regularly disturbing neighbours into the early hours. Ideally, CCTV needs to be installed. I am aware other local authorities have taken action on such hotspots even when on private land.”
She added: “It added insult to injury that a sign in the immediate vicinity advising people not to leave waste was ignored by the night drinkers.
“It was encouraging to receive offers of help from residents while we were there. There was so much waste more trips will be needed. A new multi- lingual poster is planned for the site too.”
While clearing up the area, it was also noticed that fly-tippers had left two fridges and a glass table in a public area of Brewery Hill.
Coun Morgan has called on SKDC to review its policies on waste collection. She said: “With such high profile open access communal areas its extremely difficult for private landlords and tenants to take enforcement action or improve security. Private residents are unfairly paying for the waste left by others.
“The high density of homes and businesses near Grantham town centre means a considerable amount of council tax is being collected for the area by SKDC.
“The site is near the waste collection depot. If this were in a village or other town the village council or town council could act. In Grantham we are dependent on the goodwill of SKDC officers who do their best with limited resources.”
A spokesman for SKDC said: “As the land is private we are not able to assist efforts to clear it. We have on previous occasions helped to clean the area as a gesture of goodwill but cannot continue to do so on a regular basis.
“Litter or other waste on the nearby public highway we continue to clear. It is the responsibility of the owners or occupiers of properties adjacent to the path who benefit from its ownership to maintain the area and keep it clear of waste.”