It is always gratifying to see and be involved in working with people of the town at the very basic front line level of which the community clean up is a great example and of real importance to neighbourhoods.
I know they take place in a number of areas across Northampton, and in the Billing Ward have been taking place four times a year for the past 9 years with really good results.
What community clean ups do to start with is provide a platform on which to build and fits well into the “broken window” philosophy which indicates that if you leave a broken window it won’t be long and in fact encourages other windows to be broken and the deterioration of the building.
Community clean ups give the same impetus to neighbourhoods where areas that are cleaned tend to stay reasonably clean, areas of neglect encourage fly tipping and a downward spiral of neglect, of which there are far too many examples across Northampton.
The recent cuts to essential front line services across Northampton combined with the impact of the recession and austerity measures imposed by Government and Councils will inevitably lead to an increase in fly tipping which makes the community involvement even more important and which should be recognised and valued by local councillors and people.
I would like to see an annual clean up, on the same day across the whole of Northampton and what better time than in 2012 just before the Olympic Torch and Queens Jubilee.
It is something I’ll be raising with the Northampton Labour Group, 2 hours with everyone cleaning up in their immediate areas would make a huge difference and who knows people may meet their neighbours for the first time and start to rebuild a community spirit that seems to have been lost in recent years.