Businesses at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre have been criticised by a local resident for their lack of action in addressing an alleged litter problem on the footpaths surrounding the shopping development.
Holly Mieville-Hawkins (pictured with husband Luke Palmer), who lives in Dewfalls Drive, has delivered a protest letter to a number of stores at the centre. In the letter, she claims that “the volume of wrappers, packets and plastic bags from Tesco and the other stores littering the surrounding area has increased expeditiously” since the development opened its doors to the public in October 2008.
She goes on to describe the rubbish as “unsightly and unhygienic” and says it could also cause problems for local wildlife.
Refering to the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, which borders the centre, she says:
“We are so lucky to have such a great area for walking and recreation on our doorsteps, but it is being blighted by the amount of rubbish accumulating there.”
Ms Mieville-Hawkins is now calling on the stores at the centre to take responsibility for the rubbish “that is inevitably created as a result of the shopping centre being open”. She is asking them to work with the local councils to provide more bins along the paths and suggests that they might employ someone to pick up litter in the surrounding area or organise volunteer “clean up” days with participation from store employees.
She says she has hand-delivered her letter to the Tesco Extra, Costa Coffee, Greggs, KFC, Subway and O2 outlets at the centre.
A source at the Willow Brook Centre management company said they had been passed a copy of the letter by Tesco, but declined to make further comment on the matter.
Commenting on the indifference shown by the businesses and centre management, Ms Mieville-Hawkins said:
“I am disappointed by the lack of response from the shops in the Willow Brook Centre. Nobody seems prepared to take responsibility for the waste created by their shops, which is having a clear negative impact on the environment around us.”
Asked about the possibility of having more bins installed on footpaths around the centre, a source at Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) told The Journal that they would be prepared to consider requests from residents, subject to budgetary constraints.
Whilst it is the Town Council that is responsible for providing bins, they are emptied by employees of South Gloucestershire Council.
The Town Council is currently in the process of recruiting a part-time ‘mobile cleansing operative’, whose duty will be to “help keep the bus shelters, open spaces, streets and parks in Bradley Stoke clean, clear of litter and to carry out other works as required to keep Bradley Stoke as tidy and as smart as possible”. The Council says it hopes to have the new service up and running by April.
The Journal Comments
It seems remarkable that our local councils haven’t anticipated this issue. With a town centre full of takeaway outlets and a convenient network of paths providing easy access, it is blindingly obvious that there is going to be a litter problem when no bins are provided on those routes. Our local councils need to install the necesssary bins and make sure they are emptied regularly. And perhaps Councillors could persuade the Willow Brook Centre to contribute towards the initial and ongoing costs?
What do you think? Use our comments facility to share your views.
- Contact your council to request installation of a bin (BSTC)
- The Big Spring Clean (South Gloucestershire Council)
- Stop the Drop (Campaign to Protect Rural England)
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