Rallying call for civic pride to be restored and litter a thing of the past

FORMER community and town councillor Graham Steven has for long railed against declining standards of civic pride, as demonstrated by the amount of litter dropped and left uncollected.

He cites as examples the amount of debris found in the approaches to town, including Brechin Road and at Hillside.

Mr Steven feels such litter gives a very bad impression to visitors, in the year that the golf links celebrates its 450th anniversary.

After making the obvious comment about why don’t people take their rubbish home, he goes on to speculate about who should be given the task of cleaning up verges.

Should it be the unemployed? Prisoners? Or even the farmers whose fields are adjacent to the verges?

Another thing that puzzles Mr Steven concerns grass-cutting.

“Parks are cut almost to billiard table smoothness, but the clippings are left behind. Why?”

As long ago as 2004 Mr Steven, a former convener of parks, gardens and cemeteries, was proposing a Montrose Civic Pride Campaign. Points he made at that time included raising awareness of recycling, to lessen the amount of cans and plastic bottles being flung from cars.

He proposed lunchtime litter patrols and also on-the-spot fines, which do exist but which seem either not to be enforced, or to have no effect on the public.

He suggested that the appearance of shop fronts should be improved. This is particularly relevant when a shop is empty and its windows are dirty - and the area inside the door is covered with uncollected mail.

Mr Steven wants organisations such as the community council to take a proactive role in promoting civic pride.

He concluded: “Angus, Scotland’s Birthplace? Let’s be proud of it and get cleaned up.”