The battle this city has lost

Hillsborough History Walk lead by local Historian Ron Clayton. � Paul David Drabble.
Hillsborough History Walk lead by local Historian Ron Clayton. � Paul David Drabble.
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So much to write about – so little time and space. So what’s today’s burning issue? Madonna going a over t? Clarkson and his cheeseboard?

No gentle reader – by popular demand – it’s litter – the battle that this green city has lost.

It’s become glaringly obvious as the spring flowers timidly emerge into an increasingly madder world and I do my squirrel emerging from hibernation impersonation – yawning, stretching,scratching and looking for me nuts.

Ride on Supertram down to the former Royal Infirmary and it’s physically impossible to clear this mess up with the normal street cleaning resources available – its a veritable Labour of Hercules – talk about cleaning up the Augean Stables.

Travel up or down Penistone Road and look where they have thinned out some of the birch by the abandoned pigeon lofts, have a stroll round parts of Darnall or Spital Hill or travel on the train South Yorkshire.

It makes you wonder how far the environmental issue has taken hold and why some people do not perceive the relationship between a litter bin and litter. Fag ends lie strewn about like – well fag ends while chewing gum is like lichen or manna from heaven even outside the town hall.

Don’t people care anymore? Have they given up like they have on politicians? Fining? Well who can resource and fund the staff – besides the main issue is now the stuff that has been dumped already and ain’t being cleared.

Well what’s to be done? Enlist the cohorts of G4S? Recruit regiments of reactionary old farts like me? Fetch em out from Doncatraz for an outing or two? Clone a race of super Wombles?

Because litter picking is labour intensive and to make inroads into the present situation society needs to be mobilised on the scale of WW2.

Surprisingly enough Keep Britain Tidy still exists as a group though you don’t hear much of it.

As for our rulers, well they will come up with some daft idea about road cones or some nebulous ‘Big Society’ .

So all you can do is your own little bit – or get Prince Charles on the blower.

Ron Humberstone would have liked that.