Rugby councillors vote unanimously in favour of plan to wage war on littering and fly-tipping across the borough

The decision was made at a meeting on Monday

Rubbish recently removed by council workers from under the bridge on the Black Path walk.

A main road clean-up and extra rubbish bins have been approved by Rugby Borough Council’s cabinet as part of a litter-busting campaign.

Enforcement powers will also be reviewed and residents will be urged to report trouble hotspots as officers look to stamp down on littering and fly-tipping across the area.

Councillors at this week’s March 29 cabinet meeting gave their unanimous backing to a string of initiatives with further plans to follow.

Cllr Howard Roberts (Con, Dunsmore), the portfolio holder for the environment and public realm, said: “The people of Rugby are fed-up with fly-tippers and litterers so we’ve come up with a policy that starts to address the problem.”

And council leader Cllr Seb Lowe (Con, Coton and Boughton) added: "I'd also like to place on record my thanks to you, for your hard work addressing this very serious issue.

"You're right in what you say - the people of Rugby are fed up of fly-tipping and littering.

“It should be said that this is not the final step but simply the first step in a number of measures that will look to address the problems of litter and fly-tipping in the borough.

“There is no magic bullet to addressing a behavioural issue like littering and fly-tipping but I can assure you that the whole of the council is behind whatever it takes.”

A report explained that measures would be put in place to coincide with the easing of lockdown regulations and the anticipated increase in litter.

The report said: “Over recent months there has been a marked increase in reports and complaints relating to litter within the borough.

"This has included individuals reporting litter hotspots, elected members reporting litter concerns within their wards, parish councils requesting additional support for localised litter operations within their parishes and partner organisations reporting litter concerns.

“Reflecting a national trend during periods of lockdown, the borough’s residents have been making increased use of local parks and open spaces. Whilst the majority take responsibility for disposing of their litter when accessing parks and open spaces, there remains a minority who chose not to.

“It is recognised that the issue is not one which the council can tackle alone and so the proposed litter campaign is underpinned by working with partners and harnessing the community spirit witnessed during the pandemic.”

Councillors allocated up to £15,000 to clean up the A46 in advance of Coventry’s City of Culture celebrations but Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (Lab, Benn) asked if extra bins could be sited where children walk to school.

She said: “I agree with Cllr Roberts that the litter in the town and the fly-tipping is just absolutely dreadful and it is particularly noticeable around schools. We could do with some more bins a little further away from the schools, on routes that people walk.

“We do need to put strong messages out there. If this doesn’t work then we probably need to look at taking more stringent action to make sure that people start complying.”

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, leader of Rugby's Liberal Democrats, said: "It's taken a bit of a journey to get to the first step since last June and September, when these matters were raised through leaders and elsewhere.

"So I'm glad that we are now starting to get on the road to doing something. It's about sustaining it for the longer term as well.

"If it's the first step, there's probably about another thousand steps to take, because you can't stop once you start."

Cllr Roodhouse also brought up the issue of littering in the area surrounding McDonald's and KFC on Junction One, stating that he and Cllr Timothy Douglas went on a litter pick there on Sunday and filled two bin bags with fast food containers.

He added that the council should explore what enforcement action the council it can take against fast food outlets in the town.

Cllr Lowe agreed that enforcement action should be looked into.