Keep Bromsgrove Beautiful - residents and councillors call for support

A new community initiative has been set up to help Keep Bromsgrove Beautiful, and the call is out for volunteers. The initiative began when residents of Aston Fields hit the streets on the morning of Saturday 12th to tackle litter around Bromsgrove Station and New Road as part of the nationwide Great Plastic Pick-up. Organised by local resident Sarah Milburn, the team – joined by local councillors Rita Dent, Malcolm Glass, Phil Thomas and Caroline Spencer – filled seven bags of waste and recycling in under two hours. Litter was particularly bad on the approach to Bromsgrove Station, caused by empty crisp packets and bottles being blown into the hedgerows on the side of the pavement. Along New Road, a particular problem was cigarette butts by the bus stop – where there currently isn’t a suitable nearby bin.  This has now been reported.

Carrying out the work, the team were regularly stopped by residents offering to help and asking when the next litterpick would take place. Following the success of the event, the organisers are calling for a monthly community group to tackle litter in different areas across Bromsgrove, advertised online for anyone who wants to take part.

Organiser Sarah Milburn said: 'In my day job as the West Midlands Programme Coordinator for Solutions for the Planet, I work with 11-14-year-olds in schools, teaching them about sustainability issues and encouraging them to work in teams to come up with solutions to the issues they want to solve.  This year, a lot of them have been worried about plastic waste, and so I was inspired by them, and by my own feelings about litter and love of my neighbourhood, to join the Great Plastic Pick Up.  I set up the event with very little publicity, but the response has been so positive that I've been encouraged to set up a Facebook group (Keep Bromsgrove Beautiful), and my intention is to get litter picks organised on a monthly basis, in each ward of Bromsgrove, involving all residents and local councillors.

The purpose behind this is threefold:

1) to foster a renewed sense of community spirit and pride in where we live

2) by seeing us clean up our neighbourhood, others will be encouraged to join us and pick up the litter they see

3) by joining us or by seeing us out there, people will stop and think before dropping litter in the first place, and habits will begin to change

Come and join us!”

Cllr Caroline Spencer said: “It was a wonderful opportunity for councillors to join with residents to take part in the Great Plastic Pick-up. I always welcome residents to come and join in at the Oakalls in my ward and it would be wonderful to do this across the whole of Bromsgrove.

“We’re passionate about tackling plastic recycling and we’re putting the legwork in!”

Cllr Rita Dent said: “The community spirit that we had on Saturday was great. Just two hours made things better and people do want to help. I’ll be out organizing another litterpick over the next month across the town – come and join us!”

The initiative is the latest in a series of actions to tackle plastic recycling undertaken locally by stakeholders and the Conservative Group, following on from a motion to Full Council regarding increasing plastic cup recycling in the town centre.

If residents would like to join, please find the Facebook group by searching Keep Bromsgrove Beautiful, which now has over 100 members.