THE founder of Iceland Foods is calling on Cheshire residents to put pressure on the council to clean up the borough’s roadside.

Sir Malcolm Walker CBE, who lives near Chester, says he has raised this issue with senior council officials previously ‘but nothing is ever done’.

Now, he is asking residents to write to their councillors to ‘urge’ the authority ‘to take action’.

Sir Malcolm said: “Roadside litter and potholes make driving through Cheshire West and Chester a nightmare, and create the image of an impoverished third world country. 

“Years of inaction mean that the verges and central reservation on the A55 in Cheshire resemble one long continuous rubbish dump, covered in bottles, cans, car tyres, cones and windblown plastic. You can really notice the magical difference that occurs when you pass the sign that says ‘Welcome to Wales’.

“I write to the CEO of Cheshire West & Chester Council about this every year, but nothing is ever done, so I am now asking all residents to contact their local councillors and the authority to urge them to take action.

 “We all also need to be more active in stopping litter at source – reporting not just criminal fly-tippers but the motorists who chuck their fast food containers and drinks bottles out of the windows of their cars while they are driving or stopped at traffic lights. The issue of Penalty Charge Notices for littering needs to be stepped up by the council, and prosecutions pursued against those who fail to pay them.”

Northwich Guardian:

Sir Malcolm also put his weight behind a petition calling for littering fines to be increased to £1,000.

In response, a council spokesperson said: “The Council’s Chief Executive has responded directly to Sir Malcolm Walker regarding his concerns on this matter. We agree with the importance of road users taking personal responsibility for littering and we are increasing the amount of enforcement action we undertake. 

“We also share concerns over the A55. The Council is responsible for cleaning the A55, however we have to negotiate access to the road with Highways England. We have escalated our concerns with Highways England and have arranged for extensive cleaning of the network between the A51 and A483 junctions, to be done on the night of March 15. 

“We are also confirming future dates during 2021 when Highways England will similarly make the road space available so that cleaning and maintenance can be undertaken safely.  

“From April, the Council’s Streetcare team will take responsibility for grass cutting and litter picking on the borough’s high speed roads, such as the A55.

“We are confident that these actions, alongside other service delivery changes from Spring, will secure demonstrable improvements.”

Residents can report litter issues on the council’s website.