A well-known litter campaigner said he supports a town council’s clean up campaign but warns litter picking should not be a ‘once a year’ event.

Bicester Town Council’s litter picking campaign, set to take place in late summer, will involve working with local food businesses as part of a voluntary scheme, creating a reward scheme for wards involved, and working with uniformed groups like the scouts and cadets.

The campaign is planned to take place over a single day, with Garth Park set to be the starting point.

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Participants will be provided with hi-vis vests, refuse sacks and litter pickers, and will then head off to various areas of Bicester to clean up.

Councillor Jason Slaymaker said: “The idea behind this event is to promote Bicester being a greener space to live, to have the community come together and litter pick in their own wards.

“From the town council’s perspective, this is part of our events programme, part of our calendar – we will provide education around litter, waste and proper recycling on the day.

“It’s about making Bicester a more environmentally friendly place to live, and the town council wanted to take the lead on an event where the community can lead on litter picking.”

Commenting on the litter picking campaign, founder of the voluntary clean up group Bicester Litter Pickers, and electoral candidate for the town council, Jamie Jessett said: “It’s amazing that the council are listening to me and noticing the litter issue is a big problem that needs addressing rapidly.

“Even though this litter campaign is a great idea and I fully support it, I do feel the campaign shouldn’t just be a ‘once a year’ type of event.

“It needs to be every day, week and month that people are getting out and picking up litter.

“Big companies should be doing more to help with educating children to respect the town, and we need to give proper guidance to people on how to recycle effectively and where to take unwanted items.”

Mr Slaymaker said in response: “I understand it needs to be an everyday thing, but we have to start somewhere.

“The town council cannot just focus on litter picking every single day, we do have other priorities that we look after.

“The town council isn’t responsible for litter picking around the town, that’s for the district authority.

“But we’re on the front foot in putting on this event to promote litter picking, and inviting other organisations to get involved.

“We will have a focal day for this event, but it is open to people on any day they want to come and use our equipment to go and litter pick. There has to be an element of flexibility.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1