Litter-picking should be a punishment

PUBLISHED: 17:04 19 July 2007 | UPDATED: 21:45 29 May 2010

I WOULD like to reply to the lady who feels that Saffron Walden is not the friendly place it used to be. Although I was not privileged to be born here, I have lived here for 20 years and believe it to be unusually friendly. Every morning I walk from Swan

I WOULD like to reply to the lady who feels that Saffron Walden is not the friendly place it used to be. Although I was not privileged to be born here, I have lived here for 20 years and believe it to be unusually friendly.

Every morning I walk from Swan Meadow car park at the same time and encounter lots of people - I either smile or say "good morning" and find that everybody reciprocates. You get back what you give out!!

My favourites are the pensioners from the almshouses, especially the gentlemen who doff their caps.

Just take a day trip to London to encounter unfriendly people! Yes, we are all truly privileged to live in such a wonderful town, and it is up to every one of us to maintain the status quo.

With regard to keeping the streets clean I am ashamed of the increasing litter problem locally.

For many visitors the first impression of

Saffron Walden is Swan Meadow car park, where the bins are frequently overflowing with rubbish piled at the side.

Also, after market day there is very often a lot of packaging flying around - I know, I have to clear it up outside my shop!

The biggest embarrassment, though, is The Common, with the vast amount of litter left, predominantly left by students.

They congregate in groups then leave, leaving a 'fairy ring' of litter for the overworked cleaners to pick up, even though there are plenty of bins all around The Common.

When I went to school litter-picking was used as a punishment - there's an idea for the head teachers in the area!!

On the whole, there are a lot more 'upsides' to living here than 'downsides'.

Count your blessings and try smiling at all the people you encounter. Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet!

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