‘It was an eyesore before’ - Town’s coronavirus ‘litter hit squad’ has funding renewed

Litter pickers around the Market Place. Picture: James Bass

Litter pickers around the Market Place. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A seaside town’s “litter hit squad” has had its funding renewed after delighted communities showered the pickers with bacon butties and cups of tea as a thank you.

Litter along Great Yarmouth seafront during lockdown. Picture: William Kerrison

Litter along Great Yarmouth seafront during lockdown. Picture: William Kerrison - Credit: William Kerrison

At a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s environment committee on November 4, chairman Penny Carpenter applauded the squad, which was initially set up in August to keep areas with high footfall clean during the pandemic.

Council officer Chris Silverwood said: “In August, we received funding from Norfolk County Council for Covid-related high-street clean up costs. We used this to fund our great little ‘litter hit squad’.

“Funding was due to stop at the end of October, but will now carry on until January 9.

“They are dressed in bright orange, and are out using the electric sweeper.

Marie Lily, who lives in Gorleston, spent her Saturday morning collecting bottles and discarded rubb

Marie Lily, who lives in Gorleston, spent her Saturday morning collecting bottles and discarded rubbish from Gorleston beach. Having lived here her whole life, she said she has never seen such disrespect for the environment before. Photo: Marie Lily - Credit: Archant


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“They’ve spent time in the Rows, the Fuller Subway, Gapton Hall, the Nelson Ward, Bradwell, Winterton, Hemsby, Gorleston and more. They are really making a difference.”

Officer James Wilson said there was “much more waste” to deal with as a result of lockdown, including a huge increase in takeaway boxes - and that efforts were being made to improve the recycling of takeaway materials.

But councillor Donna Hammond said it seemed more people were willing to take responsibility for the area they live because of the “highly noticeable” squad.

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She said: “I was out with the hit squad when they covered Sturdee Avenue, and they did a fantastic job. It seemed to encourage more people to respect the environment.”

Litter pickers cleaning up Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Litter pickers cleaning up Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Carl Annison, councillor for Bradwell South and Hopton, said the passageway running through Bradwell had been an “absolute eyesore” before the hit squad came along.

“Residents every single year contact me saying it’s a total mess. I even remember it being a tip as a child,” he said.

“But I have been and looked down there since you guys came along and you did a fantastic job.”

Kerry Robinson-Payne, councillor for the Nelson Ward, said residents down by the Barracks were so impressed with the squad’s work they offered the team bacon butties and hot drinks.

Penny Carpenter, chair of GYBC's Environment Committee. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Penny Carpenter, chair of GYBC's Environment Committee. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

“We’ve been forgotten over the years down in that spot, and your work was really appreciated,” she said.

MORE: Residents cleaning up beach litter urge others to do the same

Kerry Robinson-Payne, councillor for the Nelson Ward, said residents had really appreciated the effo

Kerry Robinson-Payne, councillor for the Nelson Ward, said residents had really appreciated the efforts of the litter hit squad. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

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