What happened to pride?

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
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There I was, minding my own business, exiting a well-known supermarket on Broadway with my meal deal last week, when a gentleman (?) suddenly stopped in front of me, cleared his throat in a rather vociferous manner and promptly spat on the pavement, six inches from my feet.

My glare and utter disbelief were met with ignorance, as the fellow proceeded along his spittle-ridden way and into one of the many establishments along that road that offer you the chance to lose your shirt.

Later, in Cathedral Square, another chap had undoubtedly found the burger he was demolishing too big to handle and decided to cast it aside, three feet from a bin.

Maybe he was on some sort of new, rubbish diet that I haven’t heard of, either that, or his brain had driven him to forcibly eject this lump of meat, in a vain effort to save his poor heart from any further punishment.

Maybe he just couldn’t care less, there is a lot of it about.

How else do you explain the epidemic of littering that is blighting this city, from Ferry Meadows to Storeys Bar Road, the care-less brigade is dumping on their own back yard and costing you money.

Peterborough City Council is now spending over a million pounds a year of your council tax, dealing with littering and fly-tipping.

But, it’s not just the financial cost, there is also a huge health risk too and no wonder that there have been reports of an increase in vermin, like rats, spreading across the city.

The fire service too, are warning that lives are being put at risk, as littering and fly-tipping become a magnet for arsonists. They deal with between 20 and 30 of these incidents every month and those fire engines are then not around when your house is burning to the ground.

I can understand when folks are tempted by that lady on the telly, with the year-round sale, to buy a new chaise lounge. But for the life of me I cannot fathom why they then think it is acceptable, to dump their old one, on the grass, in front of their house.

Builders and unscrupulous landlords, are guilty too; how else do old kitchen units and appliances mysteriously appear on grass verges, whenever properties are sliced up, into homes of multiple occupancy?

At one house I visited last week, the landlord had allowed bags and bags of filthy waste to pile up, level with the kitchen window, right next to the wood cladding! Pigs would have turned their noses up at the stink and one match would have been enough to light up the whole building.

I appreciate that it can be difficult to dispose of bulky waste when you don’t have a car or a van and I know many people complain about the money the council charge for taking it away (£23.00) but we never had a car when I was a boy and the fridge didn’t end up in the middle of the recreation ground. It’s called pride.

In desperation, many turn to the helpful folks on social media offering to take your stuff away for twenty quid, but whilst you might not ask too many questions, surely you are left with a guilty conscience?

We all have a responsibility here; a responsibility to report tippers and litterers and to deal with our own waste properly.

If we and they don’t drop it, there is no problem and we leave our city fit for future generations.