MP Theresa Villiers is urging Barnet Council to release money it was given by the Government to support volunteer litter pickers.
The local authority was recently allocated £68,000 for initiatives that help clean up town centres, but because the funds were received at short notice it has not yet been able to spend the cash.
Theresa is a regular volunteer litter picker. She was tipped off about this funding by the Barnet Green Beings environmental group, so she contacted the council to find out more about it.
“I was told the money hadn’t been spent yet but the council was looking to include it in a plan being considered in June,” said Theresa.
“I have gone back to urge them to ensure they use it as soon as they can for supporting volunteer litter-picks in Barnet because that is what the money is for. Green Beings had to seek crowd source funding for basic equipment like pickers, bags and hi-vis vests. Other volunteer groups in my constituency who get involved in litter clearance have had to buy their own equipment too.
“There are litter-pick groups already up and running and doing a super job across Barnet who would immediately put this funding to good use. I have asked the council to release the money to them as soon as possible.”
Update 24th June 2019
Barnet Council have now opened up this funding for applications from voluntary groups. They have issued the following statement via their Barnet Communities Together Network:
"FREE litter picking equipment available for Community groups
Barnet Council has been awarded £67,981 share of £9.75m from the Government to help our communities keep the streets of the borough clean.
The one-off fund will be used to support communities and voluntary groups across Barnet, supplying them with equipment, such as litter pickers, gloves, hi-vis vests and bags. This will enable these groups to carry out their own litter picking events. The fund will be available until it is fully allocated.
Register your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org and a form will be emailed to you. The completed request forms will be considered on a first come first served basis."