Wigan residents blast litter bugs turning park and streets into an eyesore

Rubbish in a fenced-off area on Liverpool Road
Rubbish in a fenced-off area on Liverpool Road

Litter bugs and selfish dog walkers are turning a township’s park and streets into a health hazard and eyesore, it was claimed today

The council has threatened the menaces making a mess at the children’s play area in Neville Street, Platt Bridge, with prosecution.

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Bags of dog waste, plastic bottles, old nappies and piles of fly-tipped refuse have marred the appearance and use of the park and one resident said that nearby Liverpool Road wasn’t any better with lots of rubbish dumped in a fenced-off area where damaged mesh also protrudes causing a safety hazard to passers-by.

Keith Beeston, 57, from Ince said: “In the morning the dog mess is disgusting but the council does their best to remove it and the litter.”

Tony Halsall, from Wigan, said: “I go jogging and can avoid the mess left by dogs and their owners, but those in prams, toddlers and people with mobility issues cannot do so as easily.

“To make matters worse, cars park on the pavements around Ince, and Aspull, further adding to those with prams, toddlers and those with mobility issues.

“The whole of Wigan needs a keep Wigan tidy campaign.”

Dog mess has long been a problem in Wigan, as with many parts of the country, contact with which can cause severe infections such as toxicara canis which can lead to blindness.

Fly-tipping is another issue in the area with objects left at the side of paths and next to wheelie bins.

Several of the residents pointed out that the littering was focused in certain areas. For instance on one side of Liverpool Road where there are new shops including McDonald’s, a fish and chip shop, convenience store and a Community Life Centre, there is very little litter.

However, on the other side of the road are two derelict pubs, graffiti and lots of rubbish strewn along the streets.

The council says it is doing its utmost to inform the public about civic pride, keeping the area tidy and consequences of not doing so.

It does this through leaflet distribution and on the website about keeping the streets clean and tidy.

But it is clear that some people are choosing to ignore the advice - and the threats.

Paul Barton, director for environmental at Wigan Council, said: “Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, blights our environment and is expensive to clean up. By residents not fly-tipping and recycling their waste correctly it helps us to keep council tax low.

“Our new environmental education and enforcement team is now operational seven days a week and works with residents to tackle all types of environmental crime, ensuring we have clean and tidy communities.

“As part of The Deal it is vital that residents support us with this issue and we encourage anybody who witnesses fly-tipping to send us as much information about the perpetrator, including vehicle registration or a home address where possible so we can take action.”

To report an incident of environmental crime such as fly-tipping, littering or dog fouling visit www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit or download the council’s ReportIt app.