For this week’s blog I wanted to highlight a new initiative we are rolling out this month called the Tameside Spring Clean Challenge.
I first mentioned it in my Key Note Address last November; the introduction of a new initiative to encourage everyone in Tameside to become the eyes and ears of the council. The idea is that the public help us by reporting litter and other street scene related problems that they spot using a dedicated webpage and telephone number.
In reality most people don’t drop litter – they dispose of it properly. Most people don’t fly tip, or throw cigarette butts out of the car window and most people do not write graffiti or vandalise street furniture.
Yet all of us have to suffer because a small minority are not prepared to dispose of their rubbish sensibly or feel they can damage and vandalise other people’s property. Litter dropping and graffiti are both anti-social behaviour and people need to understand this message.
At the moment people are more likely to criticise the council for not picking up litter than they are to blame those who drop it. We know in most cases prevention is better and cheaper than cure and so a key element of the Tameside Spring Clean Challenge will be to use social marketing techniques to begin to change perceptions of litter dropping – so that people recognise it is wrong and unacceptable. Alongside this awareness raising we will be operating a zero tolerance approach to people who break the law.
The challenge will be a three-month concerted campaign to clean up the borough, improve grot spots, remove graffiti and generally improve their local areas. Starting now and running through until the end of May the initiative will look to engage with key groups and stakeholders to raise awareness of litter dropping and to improve the general appearance of the borough.
Key stakeholder will include the general public, schools and colleges, sports clubs, community groups, resident associations, allotment societies, churches temples and mosques, scouts and guides, New Charter, T3SC, fast food outlets and local shops, the local press, radio and businesses.
The dedicated web address is: www.tameside.gov.uk/springclean or you can ring 342 8355 to get involved.