Sunday, 6 November 2016

Firework Fiesta Freeloaders

Every year, The Rotary Club of Peterborough, The Rotary Club of Peterborough Minster and The Round Table Club of Peterborough organise a fantastic charity firework display at the Showground that attracts tens of thousands of spectators from Peterborough and beyond. We're very proud of the event, which is one of the top ten fireworks events in the entire country and the biggest in East Anglia.

It is one of the jewels in Peterborough's crown.

Unfortunately, for residents of Ortons Northgate and Southgate, the event also attracts people who don't want to pay to watch the fireworks and who park up on roads around our estates to watch the display for free. 

I can well understand that people struggle to pay for things these days. What I can't understand and will never understand is why people who don't pay also think it's okay to leave their litter on our residential streets.

The morning after the Fireworks Fiesta I went out with my litter picker and refuse sack and was horrified by the amount of rubbish that people have left outside residents' homes, from beer bottles and cans, to fast food wrappers. While this type of litter is, sadly, to be expected wherever people gather (though I don't know why), I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across more than 30 discarded spent sparklers on the grass verge and in the bushes at the Showground perimeter fence.

Do people seriously think this is okay? What do they think happens to discarded metal?

Posted by Julie Howell on Sunday, 6 November 2016

I have to admit it, I'm a Firework Fiesta Freeloader. I live opposite the Showground, and I'm either there on fireworks night as a volunteer Showmaker or sitting at home just metres away enjoying the display away from the crowds. But I don't throw my empty Diet Coke cans out of my window into my neighbours' garden - because why would I do that??!!

A view of the fireworks
Fireworks Fiesta as seen from my back bedroom

This afternoon, I cleared a very full bag of litter from Orton Northgate (in the driving rain, but we Greens don't mind that!). Our streets are looking nice again, but this situation cannot continue. This is why I am speaking to the Rotary Club to get an arrangement for Orton Northgate similar to the one in Orton Southgate, where road closures and a system involving vehicle passes prevents access by anyone in a car who doesn't live here from using our streets for their party. This system has been in place in Orton Southgate for a couple of years now and seems to work well.

Spent fireworks on a grass verge
What goes up must come down.
But how many of us appreciate the litter that spent fireworks create?

The Showground does a brilliant job of clearing up litter and Peterborough City Council spends hundreds of thousands of pounds a year keeping Peterborough tidy. But we can all play our part in keeping our residential streets clear of the menace of litter. Please, enjoy the fireworks, but take your litter home with you.

With my litter picker and bag of rubbish
We don't mind a bit of rain in the Green Party.
We do mind rubbish, though. Take it home with you!

Video transcript: It’s raining quite heavily so I hope it doesn’t ruin my phone. This is the morning after the Firework Fiesta in Peterborough at the Showground which is behind me there. We have a bit of a problem here. Tens of thousands of people come, it’s a charity event, they make a lot of money, it’s fantastic, but we do get people that come onto the estates that have been built around the Showground to watch the fireworks for free. No one’s going to have a huge problem with that were it not for the fact that the people who come leave massive amounts of litter behind. I’m just going around picking it up. Next year we’re going to work with the Rotary Club as they do in Orton Southgate and get road closures at Orton Northgate so only residents get access. But it’s a real shame that people who come here find it necessary to drop beer cans mostly, firework litter obviously comes over, but here where am I right now, just let me turn the camera around, sparklers all over the ground. Sparklers. Why would you think it’s okay to drop sparklers on the ground - this is where people stand and watch the fireworks through there – on what is a residential street? I don’t come to your street and drop my litter! So it would be great if you would take your litter home with you. I know it’s slightly more difficult with sparklers because they’re hot but you can wait until they cool down and then take them with you. Or plan for it. If you plan to take sparklers you can plan to take them away. So, no more of this next year I hope but it’s not our job as residents to pick up after people who don’t live here and who come here just to enjoy something that’s for charity for free so it’s disappointing.

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