‘Clean Leeds’ drive will restore pride in our neigbourhoods

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Volunteers at a litter pick.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Volunteers at a litter pick.
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Hundreds of proud Leeds citizens gathered to brainstorm ideas and make a citywide pledge to clean up neighbourhoods blighted by litter louts, flytippers and inconsiderate dog owners.

The ‘Clean Leeds’ conference at Pudsey Civic Hall earlier today (Thursday) was organised in the run up to Keep Britain Tidy’s March GB Spring Clean campaign next month.

The packed event heard from individuals and residents’ groups from across the city about the daily nuisances of grime and anti social crime.

A series of workshops explored ways in which the issues can be tackled from the grass roots, and volunteers from areas like Guiseley and Roundhay shared their experiences. It is hoped ideas will now be shared across the city through the creation of a ‘Clean Leeds’ network.

Among the workshop leaders was Jeff Yates, from the Litter Free Guiseley campaign, who said: “We got together because I was sick of seeing discarded litter and wanted to do my bit to make the area less messy.

“Our main aim is to keep the streets, lanes and green spaces of Guiseley clear of litter with a combination of regular litter picks and liaison with key groups to help keep on top of the problem.”

Kevin Ritchie, a labour councillor for Bramley, said the event had been a “fantastic” showcase of community spirit, something which he said was very much alive in his own ward.

He added: “One of the great ideas was some kind of rating system for local businesses, similar to the food hygiene ratings. I think it’s important that we kick on from here and progress some of these great ideas.”

Speaking at the event, Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “It’s just been great to see so many people here. This isn’t about asking the council to do stuff. This is about working to see what we can achieve together, and being a little bit more imaginative about how we deal with issues.”