North Norfolk claims Clean Britain crown

Streets had an extra sparkle across North Norfolk as the district basked in spring sunshine - and the glory of being named the cleanest part of the country.

Streets had an extra sparkle across North Norfolk as the district basked in spring sunshine - and the glory of being named the cleanest part of the country.

It won the overall national award at the Clean Britain Awards - providing a big pat on the back for the council team which battles the tide of litter, dog mess, chewing gum and fly-tipping.

But as officials paraded an FA Cup-sized trophy in some spotless seafront gardens, they said it was also a reminder that everyone had a role to play in keeping the area clean.

The biggest scourge on the streets was not chip trays, or cigarette ends, but 'the people who don't dispose of them properly,' said Nick Baker, North Norfolk District Council's strategic director for the environment.


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Without them the council would not have to spend �650,000 a year employing an army of people to sweep the streets, pick up litter, clear up dog mess, and tackle fly tipping.

'If you leave a bit of litter in a lay-by, it can escalate to a dumped fridge and abandoned vehicle,' he added.

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But Clean Britain judges were impressed with North Norfolk when they visited the area on a snap visit - awarding the area the award for the top district council and the overall prize.

They said driving around the area was 'a real pleasure' because of the cleanliness and that 'visitors could not fail to be impressed.'

District councillor Brian Hannah, the cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: 'We are a tourist area - so what an advert.'

Keeping the area clean was high on the wish list of things local people expected from their council, so it was a message the authority was listening and making strides against the problem of litter.

But he wanted to use the accolade, not just to praise the workers - some employed by the district, others from contracts NCS - but also to raise civic pride and encourage people to do more to clean outside their home and shops, as well as report people committing litter and dog mess offences.

Sixty three city, town and district councils entered the Clean Britain awards and were judged on a range of criteria including litter, bin management, street furniture cleanliness and visitor impressions. Truro was the gold winning city while Windsor and Eton topped the towns.

Awards director Richard Chisnell said the battle against litter was ongoing. Even in the winning areas, people would still find rubbish, but the awards recognised the efforts being put by a million people across Britain trying to deal with it.

For full results visit www.information@cleanbritainawards.co.uk

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