Bury St Edmunds children ahead of the game with their Clean for the Queen
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Cleaning for the Queen is all well and good but Bury St Edmunds got there first.
This is the tongue-in-cheek view of volunteers in the town who have been holding regular litter picks long before the campaign ahead of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday was launched.
The community group, led by mayor Patrick Chung along with district and county councillor Sarah Stamp, collects litter from around the Southgate area and beyond, often helped by local schoolchildren.
“It’s clean for the Queen but we do it quarterly,” said Mr Chung.
He said around 40 people had turned out on Thursday to help out.
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Mrs Stamp added: “It makes a big difference on three fronts. It makes the area look better, which is fantastic and it gives the community ownership. For me, the most important thing is having the young people involved. They go back to their assemblies and educate their classmates on the issues of littering and the dangers.”
She said they had collected all sorts of items over the years, often filling up more than 10 large black bags with rubbish.
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They were often joined by Andy Harvey and Andy Hobbs from St Edmundsbury Borough Council, as well as the operations manager Mark Walsh.
The High Sheriff of Suffolk Judith Shallow joined the group on Thursday in support of the clean for the Queen initiative.
“It’s brilliant but we had it first,” said Mrs Stamp. “It’s true that we’ve been doing it and it’s fantastic everybody else is catching up.
“This is part of all the great community stuff going on in Southgate, coming from the Southgate Community Centre.”