Campaigner calls for council tax refund as littering continues in North Herts

Corinna Biermann with litter picking equipment

Corinna Biermann Wheatley has been organising litter pick in her area following an upsurge in littering - Credit: Courtesy of Corinna Biermann Wheatley

An environmental campaigner is calling on North Herts District Council to give residents a partial council tax refund, to make up for litter picking carried out by volunteers.

There has been an upsurge in littering and fly-tipping across the country, as many took to house clearances during the first lockdown - when recycling centres were closed. 

Children on litter pick

Corinna has been organising litter picks in her area, and hope to teach children about the importance of looking after the environment - Credit: Corinna Biermann Wheatley

This, as well as the increased amount of littering exacerbated by the lifting of lockdown - which saw many flock to parks with picnics - has spurred on Cockernhoe resident Corinna Biermann Wheatley to take action.

Corinna has set up litter picks in her area, as well as further afield in Hitchin. 

She said: "The performance and cooperation of Urbaser is not in line with our expectations and our council tax payments, which are used to eliminate litter in our area. 


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"Therefore, we are claiming a refund of our council tax for work that local citizens are currently completing. 

She is also calling on the council for more rights and measures to prosecute offenders, incorporating CCTV more widely, heavier fines for offenders, and more. 

litter picking

Corinna has been organising litter picks in her area, and hope to teach children about the importance of looking after the environment - Credit: Corinna Biermann Wheatley

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She told the Comet: "I go out litter picking regularly, and I have a friend who is also a dedicated litter picker. She managed to get hold of some litter picking equipment from the council.

"This is to do with society and there needs to be a change in messaging on how people act responsibly with the environment. That's a longer process."

Children litter picking

Corinna has been organising litter picks in her area, and hope to teach children about the importance of looking after the environment - Credit: Corinna Biermann Wheatley

Corinna hopes that in time schools will be incorporated regularly in clean up days and providing education around environmental issues.

She has been in contact with local authorities, including Herts County Council, NHDC and Luton Borough Council. 

Vaughan Watson, NHDC's service director, said: "We share the concerns that the petition highlights regarding the upsurge of litter and fly tipping in North Herts. 

"Our contractors work extremely hard to clear fly-tipping and litter on public land, both of which have significantly increased during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. 

"We would encourage residents to take their litter home with them or use the litter bins provided. We also encourage residents to ensure they dispose of their waste lawfully and further information on how to do that can be found on our website. 

“There is no excuse for littering and fly-tipping and we will seek to take appropriate enforcement action against those who commit these offences."

To view the petition, go to https://bit.ly/3ddQI0i.

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