New grot spot campaign aims to clean up Melton

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The Melton Times is once again joining forces with Melton Council in a six-month campaign to clean up parts of the town and borough.

Melton Council is launching its ‘Me & My Community’ campaign, predominantly targeting town centre areas, to clamp down on flytipping and environmental crimes which cost the borough’s taxpayers a lot of money every year.

For many years there have been specific areas in the borough that have had problems with regular flytipping of domestic waste, littering and dog fouling.

The council has to deal with about 40 fly tips a month, which can vary in size from small deposits of one or two black sacks through to full van loads of construction material, green waste, tyres and hazardous material such as asbestos.

Raman Selvon, who leads the councils environmental maintenance team, said: “It can be dangerous and potentially harmful and spoils the surroundings for residents of the borough, visitors and local businesses.”

Fixed penalty notices of £80 can be issued to people who litter or don’t pick up after their dogs. Flytipping can also result in substantial fines for those found guilty, or in some cases may even lead to imprisonment.

The council is set to launch its ‘Me and My Community’ campaign on November 19, with the overall aim of making the Melton community a greener, cleaner neighbourhood for residents to live in.

The Melton Times, which has been involved in previous grot spot-busting campaigns with the council, is encouraging readers to send in their photos of grot spots or fly tips in urgent need of attention.

You can email your photos (jpeg format please) giving details of the location to christian.march@meltontimes.co.uk and we will forward the information onto the council for action. We’ll do our best to make sure something gets done and, by working with the council, report back to our readers.

Social media will also be used to highlight flytips, grot spots and problem areas, as well as encouraging people to come forward with any information that could lead the council to those responsible.

The campaign will also be supported by local police officers, the council’s waste contractor and local businesses.

Residents will be asked to volunteer to take on the role of ‘street champions’, as there is evidence this can work well, and regular joint walkabout inspections will take place with council officers and the police. Residents will also be encouraged to ask any questions and highlight any potential grot spots that need attention.

Melton Council deputy leader Pam Posnett said: “Environmental crime can be harmful to communities. Where we live matters and this initiative will positively engage with residents, to help improve the places they live and work, improving community spirit, well-being and pride.”

A council spokeswoman added: “A range of information leaflets will be available throughout the campaign, informing residents where they can take their unwanted items free of charge and encouraging them to think of alternative disposal outlets such as charity shops or The Melton Furniture Project.

“Residents will also notice anti-environmental crime signs being erected in ‘hot spot’ areas, including dog fouling and litter.

“Results of the campaign will be monitored and, if a clear improvement is shown, the initiative will be rolled out to other problematic areas in the borough.”