To the team at East Hampshire District Council/Norse: Today at about 8am, as I walked down the central car park in Petersfield, I saw three workmen who had just finished strimming the grass along the path by Tilmore Brook near to the Physic Garden. 

Ah, good, I thought, the EHDC/Norse team are doing something at last. 

But I was disappointed as I watched the workmen leaving in their truck and trailer. Apparently, their work was finished. 

But it wasn’t finished. The grass cuttings lay where they fell. The litter, now made worse by the strimming, lay among the grass. No attempt was made to sweep up and take the mess away. No attempt was made to make the place look nice. 

It was as if the workmen were told to do just enough to fulfil the contract with EHDC.

People, those annoying taxpayers, are complaining. 

A bench seat nearby sat neglected among the weeds and the strimmings and the grit and litter. I cleared up as much litter as I could. 

To cap it all, the inevitable rats have appeared. A whole nest of them were scurrying about not far from the bench.

Why was the work not outlined properly by managers? Why did they not do a full and proper job, at least around the area where they had been strimming? Did they have the rakes, the brushes, the shovels, the blowers to do the job properly?

As a person who regularly clears litter and rubbish from parts of Petersfield town centre for free, this neglect and shame of Petersfield is and has been horribly visible for some time.

East Hampshire District Council, you cannot let this go on. 

Please have some pride in Petersfield, have some pride in your work and have some pride in the country. This is England. We are better than this.

Glenn McLernon


East Hampshire District Council’s environmental services team says: EHDC’s appointed street cleaning contractor, EH Norse, has teams working in the town centre eight hours a day, seven days a week.

These teams empty bins at least once per day and, more often than not, three times per day, and manually sweep the streets.

It is also important that all residents take responsibility for their neighbourhoods and properly dispose of any litter they create. Anyone who is caught dropping litter runs the risk of an £80 fine.

However, we accept there is always more that can be done to keep on top of the litter left behind by careless residents.

We would like to thank Mr McLernon and the many other volunteers who run litter picks for their efforts to keep the district looking tidy.