Helping make our town a tidier place

There was a strong turnout at Daventry District Council’s town cleanup event on Thursday, last week.

A few residents aided by over 30 volunteers from Tesco, Waitrose and McDonald’s and other businesses took to the streets to tackle dirt, grime, posters and refuse blighting the town centre.

The clean up follows a number of revelations in the Daventry Express as part of our Tidy Up Daventry campaign. So far the paper has drawn attention to poor maintenance of the Twinning Shield display and ongoing issues with the service provided by Enterprise, the contract holders for grounds maintenance in Daventry.

Volunteers met at 10 am at Daventry Town Council’s offices where they received gloves, high visibility jackets, litter pickers and bin liners provided by Enterprise.

McDonald’s employees and Enterprise workers with road sweepers helped to clear the lots behind the High Street businesses of weeds, junk and other refuse, while workers from local supermarkets targeted litter and abandoned glass bottles on New Street Recreation Ground and the Hollows Playing fields.

In New Street Recreation Ground litter pickers were joined by children and staff from St James Infant School, who were out gathering fallen leaves for their Autumn display.

Mrs Chapel, who is 88, lives in Woodford Halse and regularly visits the New Street recreation ground to walk her dog after shopping in Daventry. She said: “I think the cleanup is a lovely idea. I have always come to Daventry to do my shopping and I like this park. The grass is always cut. The town can really be an excellent place to go. ”

Volunteers at the park said they were shocked by the amount of discarded glass bottles and other potentially hazardous material found just a short distance from Daventry’s Skate Park and a children’s’ play ground.

Geoff Southern, business manager at McDonald’s, Daventry has in the past championed the fast food chain’s ‘Love Where You Live Initiative’, which in July saw volunteers doing their bit to help clean up parts of the Southbrook Estate in July.

“We asked how we could help and get involved,” Mr Southern said. “It is good to see all the principle business in Daventry involved.”

It has emerged that abandoned items found behind high street businesses include a sofa and cooker, with volunteers assembling a mountain of weeds and other refuse.

Cllrs Catherine Lomax and Deanna Eddon, and Alan Hills also took part in the clean up, covering areas including High Street, Sheaf Street and Bowen Square.

“It was good to see people out here on the day,” said Mr Hills, but a lot of people I have spoken to seem to think doing things like litter picking just isn’t their job.”

Ms Eddon added: “Until we can change attitudes and get people to pick up their own litter events like this will have to happen again.”

Paul Knight, Environmental Health Manager at Daventry District Council also took part in the cleanup, removing weeds from flower beds outside Waitrose to make way for new plants that could be provided by the supermarket.

He said: “There were enormous amounts of vegetation and weeds cleared from the area at the rear of Bowen Square. In addition, flower beds in Bowen Square and Foundry Court were prepped ready for planting.

“The New Street Recreation Ground was litter picked, as was The Hollows and I would like to thank all 40 of the volunteers who gave up their time as well as our partners for making the day such a success.”

On Saturday, October 25, residents on the Grange Estate took part in their very own community clean up.

Cllr Wendy Randall, who organised the litter pick, said: “It was a huge success. We had over 40 volunteers and what was especially lovely to see was that 15 of them were children.

“I would like to thank The Grange School for advertising the event in their newsletter, the landlords of The Pike and Eel for providing free hot drinks, DDC for loaning us the equipment, Amey staff for collecting all the rubbish sacks and the major supermarkets for supplying bags.”

Cllr Randall urged residents who see any maintenance issues or rubbish in need of collection in the Grange area to report it on the Grange estate’s Facebook page .