Litter Britain; where’s our civic pride? – The Yorkshire Post says

TODAY’S question is a profound one – why is Yorkshire, the proudest and most picturesque county in Britain, unable to show a modicum of civic pride when it comes to litter?

Graeme Bandeira's cartoon of the litter epidemic.

On a day Welcome to Yorkshire was showcasing the region, council crews and volunteers were working overtime to pick up the detritus left behind in parks, beauty spots and along the coast.

Just as galling was the fact that this coincided with the relaunch of the Countryside Code 70 years after it was first published.

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People living here shouldn’t need reminding of their responsibilities – but they clearly do – as the mountain of litter is compounded by fly-tpping, another selfish act.

Part of the clean-up operation on Woodhouse Moor in Leeds.

And the easing of lockdown restrictions is no excuse; this county, and country, was in the midst of a shameful litter epidemic long before Covid struck.

Instead it comes down to this – a selfish conviction that someone else, who probably doesn’t live too far away from you, will be made to come along and tidy up your festering mess? The audacity; the arrogance; the ignorance are all astounding.

Those on the right cry: this is liberal Britain at its worst. People who think personal freedoms extend to having the right to violate public spaces, because you can.

Those on the left cry: this is what happens when you put a bunch of egotistical Tories in charge. Years of austerity leads to too few bins and not enough litter-pickers to go around.

Some of the rubbish left behind on Woodhouse Moor.

Whatever your political persuasion, neither perspective comes close to validating trashing your own back yard. As ever, this isn’t about right and left; it is about right and wrong and seemingly too few have any grasp of the latter.

It is also not about the Government, councils or the police. It’s about how we, as a county, restore our collective sense of pride and common decency before it is forever lost to landfill. Over to you.

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