Joy at victory for campaign against needles

Bernadette Gibbons, Fiona Henry and Kirsty Hadfield with their petition against needles being found around the city. EMN-180221-155126009
Bernadette Gibbons, Fiona Henry and Kirsty Hadfield with their petition against needles being found around the city. EMN-180221-155126009
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A campaign waged by three mothers concerned at the rise of discarded needles has proved successful.

East ward residents Fiona Henry, Kirsty Hadfield and Bernadette Gibbons have been invited to join a Peterborough City Council taskforce after their petition received hundreds of signatures.

The taskforce, which formed on March 7, is overseeing the delivery of an action plan aimed at tackling the problem with discarded needles which the parents say has taken off in recent months.

Members include: council community safety officers, public health officers, members of environmental teams, the Aspire drug misuse treatment service, crime prevention officers, pharmacies and the council homeless outreach team.

Mum of three Fiona said: “We’re really pleased with the outcome so far. We think being invited to be part of the taskforce to work towards a solution is wonderful.

“Ultimately, we wanted to be able to get the right people to the table to discuss the issue and it looks like that is what we have done.

“The support has been great and we are looking forward to being part of the team.”

The three mothers were part of the Needless Needle campaign which, as well as the petition, also highlighted the problem of discarded needles on social media.

The taskforce are overseeing actions that are “intended to balance enforcement with prevention and support.”

This includes: improving the ability to monitor, analyse and respond to discarded needles, improving collections (including a focus on private land), setting up prevention measures and organising pharmacy return schemes.