The Fleming Avenue area in North Baddesley was litter picked by more than 30 community volunteers in an event organised by Parish Councillor Vicky Wotton. Clean up days and individual voluntary litter picking are supported by Test Valley council as a partial answer to the cuts in environmental services budgets.
Under grey autumn skies volunteers including more than 12 children collected 18 bags of litter from a small but very busy area in North Baddesley. Litter ranged from cigarette butts, which are one of the largest sources of plastic pollution in the world, to a microwave oven which had been fly tipped in the area. The Community Life Centre on Fleming Avenue, run by True Life Church hosted hand washing, tea and biscuits after the event.
Group days of action like this one are not the only way to participate. Test Valley Borough Council supply street cleaning kits to individuals on request, and many people including volunteers from All Saints Church do regular cleans in their area to help keep our community clean. Vicky, a Parish Councillor said that she is hoping to run further clean up days.
Austerity has forced many councils, including Test Valley Borough Council to cut back on environmental services like street cleaning. It is encouraging to see community concern for the environment helping to partially solve that problem. A previous event this time assisted by the council by Cllr Celia Dowden made a big difference to the cleanliness in the Hoe Lane earlier in the year.
The Hampshire County Council level savings plan ‘Transition to 2021’ mean that a further £11m of savings will come out of the environmental services budget. That comes on top of £56m already made. Some of these savings are planned to change the way waste is collected and will affect Test Valley directly. Others including charging for some disposals at Household Waste Recycling Centres, may increase the risk of fly tipping.
All Saints and St John the Baptist, your parish churches in North Baddesley are covering some local news stories that fit with our commitment towards better community and sustainability. We are doing this to make sure that good stories in our communities get told.