THIS vigilante litter picker dressed up as a Womble and took to the streets on Tuesday to ‘shame the borough council’ into cleaning up its act.
Highclere resident and owner of Total Pressure Ltd Kevin Pearson was fed up with the amount of rubbish being left by the side of the A343, so decided to take matters into his own hands.
In the popular children’s books and TV programme, The Wombles aim to help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish in creative ways.
Mr Pearson, who dressed as Orinoco to try and prove his point, said: “We suffer greatly from the fact that we are within chucking distance of the [Tot Hill] services, with its 24-hour McDonald’s and the Shell petrol station selling sandwiches and Costa coffee.
“People, coming off the bypass on their way south, manage to complete their meal just as they enter our village and – not caring for anyone other than themselves – discard their rubbish in Highclere.”
Mr Pearson added: “I want to shame Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for insisting that our paid-for litter picker can no longer carry out his excellent work he has done for many years, but I find that the parish council appear to have no interest in the state of our village – litter, verges, signage, state of the road surface – and there always has to be some resident action to get anything done.”
The chairwoman of Highclere Parish Council Sally Izett said: “Highclere Parish Council certainly does care about the state of the village.
“As I have indicated before, we have a litter warden who, on a regular basis, collects and disposes of litter strewn along areas of highway in the village where it is deemed safe for him to operate, ie within the 30mph zones and where we have pavements.
“Unfortunately, sections of the A343 are outside the 30mph zone and there are no safe walkways between the verges and the highway.
“The parish council has therefore requested a litter pick from the borough council along these stretches of highway as there is an increasing build up of litter in these areas.
“Were the stretches of the main road to the north and south of the village safe for a litter-pick by volunteers, the parish council would support such an event.
“Indeed, the parish council has considered taking an active part in the Great British Spring Clean, which started on March 2 and is being organised by the Keep Britain Tidy charity.
“However, due to safety concerns, we have been warned that to hold a litter picking event along the A343 would be inadvisable by the local authority and the parish council does not wish to put members of the public at risk.”