The Sentinel Newspaper – Wednesday, May 06, 2009
West Brampton resident Phil Gregory says he was shocked at the state of the playing fields off Croft Road, The Brampton, in Newcastle, when he was walking there recently.
But rather than asking council staff to do more to clean up the place, he feels residents should be more willing to do their bit.
Mr Gregory found that the stream running through the playing fields was full of litter, partially as a result of youths drinking in the area.
He believes the stream could become a pleasant beauty spot for residents to enjoy if only it was kept in a better state.
Mr Gregory, aged 35, said: “I grew up in Tideswell in the Peak District, where we had streams so crystal clear you could drink from them. When my four-year-old daughter saw the state of the stream in the park, it just broke her heart.
“There was lots of litter, like bottles and cans in the stream, and also a big sheet of corrugated iron. There was so much rubbish it was blocking the stream from flowing. I tried to clean it up myself, but I needed more equipment really.
“While I was there some teenage girls stopped and asked what I was doing. When I told them they decided to join in and help. So I think people will want to help if they’re asked.”
Mr Gregory thinks Newcastle Borough Council could provide litter picking equipment such as gloves and bin bags.
He said: “It could be a nice little stream if people looked after it a bit better. It’s not just this one either, there’s another stream in Longton that needs the same sort of attention.
“I’ve lived in North Staffordshire for 14 years, and I do like it, I like taking photographs of the old pot banks. But the only thing I don’t like it is that people don’t seem to take enough pride in their surroundings. It doesn’t take much really. If you see someone dropping litter you just have to ask them to pick it up.”
Gail Clarkson, chairman of West Brampton Residents’ Association, of which Mr Gregory is a member, said they regularly organised litter picks, but that the stream actually fell outside their area.
She said: “We do take pride in our area, and we do organise litter picks. It would be nice to get more support though. We have 550 members but only about 30 turn up to meetings.”
A spokesman for Newcastle Borough Council said: “If the gentleman would like to contact our streetscene department we would happily lend him some litter picking equipment.”