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Newry motion calls for dedicated ‘Big Spring Clean Up’ day for community to wage war on rubbish

If successful, community groups, schools and residents will be provided with the tools to clean up the increased levels of litter which have gathered during the pandemic

A district-wide ‘Big Spring Clean Up’ could be held across Newry, Mourne and Down to tackle the heightened levels of rubbish which are being blamed on the current pandemic.

It will, that is, if a notice of motion to be debated by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council later today gets majority support.

Independent Councillor Jarlath Tinnelly has tabled the motion.

He points to an increase in rubbish being directly attributable to a rise in the number of people out taking exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And now he wants NMD Council to organise a one-off event – drawing as many people together as possible – to tackle the scourge.

Practical and tangible support, he believes, can be provided by council to all those who are keen to participate.

Councillor Tinnelly’s motion reads: “Throughout the Covid pandemic, many residents of and visitors to our district have taken the opportunity to exercise in the parks, rural roads and pathways of our towns and villages to help their physical and mental wellbeing and, in so doing, many have found a renewed sense and awareness of the stunning beauty of our district.

“Regrettably, this increased volume of cyclists and walkers has also led to a marked increase in the amount of rubbish that is discarded along those very roads and pathways.”

Councillor Tinnelly is asking that, to that end, council will “organise and supervise a district wide ‘Big Spring Clean Up’, particularly on our rural roads on a chosen Saturday morning this coming Springtime”.

He wants this to be delivered through the respective district electoral areas and to involve as many community groups, schools and residents of the district as possible – “public health advice permitting”.

The motion adds: “Council’s role will be to coordinate what is happening within each DEA and to provide logistical support like litter pickers, bags, hi-vis vests, rubbish collection points etc, on request, and to engage external groups who may wish to partner us in this project.

“If successful, this initiative will then become an annual event for our council to lead in this time of increased environmental awareness.”

Councillor Tinnelly’s motion will be debated at the monthly meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on Monday.

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