Herefordshire is benefitting from over £30,000 of additional funding to tackle litter.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) recently announced a new High Street Community Clean-Up Fund, including an allocation of £33,489 to support community litter groups in Herefordshire.
However, the catch was that the additional money had to be spent in the 2018/19 financial year, which ended on Sunday 31 March.
To ensure that the money was invested before the deadline and in the most effective way, the council used the funding to purchase additional clean-up equipment, training and signage for local community groups, and are in the process of distributing them based on the needs of local communities.
Existing community clean-up and litter picking groups work collaboratively through the Herefordshire Stop the Drop network, and their ideas and suggestions were compiled to create a wish list of equipment, ensuring every community had a say in how the funding was invested.
Items purchased from the wish list include litter grabbers for adults and children, gloves and hi-vis jackets, litter carts and vacuums, signage and first aid training.
Jill Scammell, of Ross Community Litter Clean-up Crew, said:
“We received our very first set of equipment from Stop the Drop which included hi-vis; litter pickers; bag openers and an endless supply of bags. This enabled us to crack on and start cleaning up our town without the need to spend time on fundraising for equipment.
“We have since grown and reached out to get even more groups involved, as well as our own litter picking events which have increased, and it would have been so much harder had we not had the benefit of receiving our new injection of much needed equipment.”
Marc Willimont, Acting Assistant Director for Regulatory Environment and Waste, said:
“This additional funding is exciting news but the challenging timescale meant we simply didn’t have the time to allocate funding directly to groups through an open and transparent grant scheme. Many of the existing community clean-up groups which do such brilliant work across the county are not constituted organisations, meaning they would not have been able to apply for a grant.
“The decision was therefore made for the council to engage with our network of community groups through the Herefordshire Litter Forum, which is a powerful tool for collaborative social impact, to ensure the additional funding is invested throughout the county where it is most needed and will do the most good.”
To find out more about the support available to litter pickers in Herefordshire, visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/stopthedrop
Published: Thursday, 30th May 2019