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A campaign has been launched to banish litter from the streets of Evesham.

Litter Free Evesham is being led by a committee of Evesham Town Council and involves Wychavon District Council and a number of other community groups within the town.

The aim is to make Evesham, in the main, a litter free town by changing public attitudes so littering becomes as anti-social as graffiti or vandalism.

At a launch event on Friday, 20 November at Raphael’s Restaurant, the group outlined a number of projects they are planning to carry out over the coming months.

They include awareness raising campaigns, identifying grot spots and coming up with solutions to tackle them. There will also be a review of the locations of bins so they are properly used, community litter picks and businesses will be urged to encourage their staff and customers not to litter.

The public are being urged to play their part in the campaign by organising litter picks in their area and spreading the message about the damage littering causes.

Cllr Gerry O’Donnell, who is leading the Litter Free Evesham campaign, said: “During the production of the Evesham Town Plan, littering was the number one environmental issue people raised. It is not only illegal, and could result in a £75 penalty charge, but gives a bad impression of the town to visitors and makes Evesham a less pleasant place to live.

“This problem cannot be tackled by one organisation alone. It is up to all of us to work together to keep the place we live in, clean and tidy. I hope residents and businesses will back us in our goal to make Evesham Litter Free, because Evesham is simply too lovely to litter.”

Cllr Fred Kaler, Mayor of Evesham, added: “The anti-litter strategy represents the first part of the Town Plan that the town council has initiated, and I am proud to give it my wholehearted support. Evesham is a wonderful town with an amazing heritage, and litter is something that although small, really has an impact on its appearance.

“We want Evesham to be litter free both for residents and visitors, and we want the community to take responsibility to help achieve this, and this strategy will help us to do that, after all,  Evesham is too lovely to litter and we have pride in our town. I view the dropping of litter as a form of anti-social behaviour, after all Evesham is our home and we should treat it with respect.”

Wychavon spends £1.5million on street cleaning across the district every year and in Evesham has had to spend additional money. This includes £20,000 on cleaning an estimated 70,000 pieces of chewing gum from the town centre’s streets and bringing in a new pavement sweeper to deal with thousands of discarded cigarette ends.

Cllr Emma Stokes, portfolio holder for environment on Wychavon District Council, said: “We’re proud to be playing our part in the Litter Free Evesham campaign. There’s simply no excuse for littering and our message is simple - don’t drop it, bin it.”

Evesham Town Council is planning a number of activities throughout 2016 inr elation to Litter Free Evesham.  If you would like further information or would like to get involved then please contact Stuart Carter, The Town Clerk of Evesham Town Council.