Local Lib Dem Councillors were joined by hardy residents on Saturday all braving discarded injecting paraphernalia and human waste to tackle some of Maidstone's most neglected 'grot spots'. Forgotten corners of North, East and Bridge Wards were all blitzed, with an impressive haul of litter and fly-tipping collected and efficiently removed from pre-arranged drop off points by Maidstone Council's cleansing team.
Land around Maidstone’s High Level Bridge yielded a grim haul of used syringes, soiled wet wipes, tin cans, bottles and a massive quantity of branded fast food litter. Bizarrely, the discarded items included a clarinet!
Cllr. Tony Harwood, Borough Councillor for North Ward stated: “The High Level Bridge is a popular pedestrian link to and from local schools avoiding dangerous and polluted roads which is badly undermined by the actions of litter louts and anti-social activity involving alcohol and substance abuse.” He added: “A range of environmental improvements are planned for the wooded slopes on the approaches to the bridge which will limit opportunities for anti-social activity while improving local landscape and wildlife habitats.”
Pictured (foreground to background): County Councillor Ian Chittenden (Maidstone North East Division), Borough Councillor Tony Harwood (North Ward), Borough Councillor Dave Naghi (East Ward and Deputy Mayor), Borough Councillor Michelle Hastie (North Ward) tackle the mess in a hidden corner of the town centre.
Other areas subject to an autumn deep clean included fly-tipped woodland at Penenden Heath and M20 underpass at Sandy Lane. Land adjacent to the M20 at Penenden Heath surrendered the largest haul and it took the whole team to shift some the heaviest debris. East Ward Councillor Nikki Fissenden was joined by her children on the litter pick and stated: “Some of the heaviest debris was removed from the edge of the Heath above the M20 where a Highways England acoustic fence has been damaged where we were very concerned it could fall or be pushed onto the motorway.”
Pictured (left to right): Borough Councillor Dave Naghi (East Ward and Deputy Mayor), Borough Councillor Michelle Hastie (North Ward), Borough Councillor David Pickett (Bridge Ward), Borough Councillor Tony Harwood (North Ward) County Councillor Ian Chittenden (Maidstone North East Division) with part of their haul from Maidstone’s High Level Bridge.