Cleaner village aims for plastic-free future

Dog poo bags discarded by a stile on the Lodge Farm bridle path in Alvechurch.

Alvechurch is planning to clean up its act amid fears it is looking “scruffy” as it embraces a move to become a plastic-free village.

Parish councillors backed proposals to tidy up areas used by fly-posters and to look again at preventing misuse of bus shelters. They also want to try to stop “poo trees” along a bridlepath and the canal towpath by having more dog bins installed.

Councillors welcomed an approach for support from an informal group of villagers wanting to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic.

Independent district councillor Kate Van Der Plank told the monthly parish council meeting: “There is a group of quite enthusiastic people from a variety of different backgrounds in the village and we have spoken to a number of businesses.

“We want to highlight good practices and already butcher Clayton Fern is wrapping meat in paper rather than plastic and The Lounge has said it will not hand out plastic straws unless they are requested.”

Coun Van Der Plank said she was hoping Bromsgrove’s centres manager, Cheryl Welsh, may find some money in her budget to kick-start the campaign.

Meanwhile, councillors are going to try to revisit attempts to prevent abuse of the bus shelter outside the Red Lion.

Parish lengthsman Ron Rand said: “I have done my utmost to make that bus shelter tidy, but I can’t keep it clean because of the urine problem.

“If we were to attach a spotlight to the nearby lamp-post shining into the shelter that would go a long way to alleviating this problem. It is nothing to be proud of in Alvechurch.”

The parish council also urged villagers who pin leaflets to the fence at the entrance to Tanyard Lane car park to remove them.

Coun Mark Worrall said: “It makes the village look unkempt. Anyone driving through is likely to think this is a scruffy village.

Finally, in what parish chairman Andy Humphries said could be seen as a “Cleaner Alvechurch Campaign”, the council is asking for a dog waste bin at the top of the bridlepath to Lodge Farm, near the bottom of School Lane.

Stand-in Alvechurch South district councillor Kit Taylor, supporting the move, said: “ I don’t know whether it’s worse to see it on the pavement or when you get a poo tree.”