Teams urged to clean up

The King George Playing Fields, Fleetwood, is used to host youth football games.
The King George Playing Fields, Fleetwood, is used to host youth football games.

Football teams have today been warned to clean up their act after claims litter is being left strewn across pitches for the council to clean up.

Councillors living next to King George playing fields, on Fleetwood Road, Fleetwood, and St George’s fields, in Thornton, told Wyre Council teams using the pitches should be contacted about littering.

But club bosses today hit back, insisting they clear away any rubbish and often find broken glass and empty cans when they turn up for games at weekends.

Coun Brian Stephenson, Wyre councillor for Park ward, said: “We are responsible for cleaning up after football games, but despite this there’s lots of cans, bottles and paper packets left after every game.

“Would it not be possible for teams using the facilities to be sent a letter from the council asking them to contribute to the area by cleaning up after themselves?”

Coun Pete Murphy, street scene portfolio holder for Wyre Council, said teams have been spoken to by the YMCA which looks after pitches in Thornton.

He said: “Council staff go down there on a regular basis.

“The YMCA has been spoken to the teams about them cleaning up the playing fields.”

Highcross ward Coun Barry Birch added: “Cottam Hall fields are usually immaculate but when youngsters have played on there it has been littered with bottles.

“It’s very easy for a team to get a black bag and walk the touch line.”

But Barry Whittaker, manager of Fleetwood Gym FC, claims his team regularly turns up to find broken glass on their pitch.

He said: “Ninety per cent of the rubbish left on there is by youths who spend the summer on there getting drunk.

“We have to clean up before we start playing to make it safe because of the broken glass.”

Stuart Pratt, manager of AFC Additions FC, in Fleetwood, added: “We have our own water bottles and never leave them behind.

“We played the other day and there was no noticeable rubbish there, otherwise we would have cleaned up.”

A spokesman for Wyre Council said: “The council does all it can to respond to incidents of littering and it does so as quickly as possible.

“There are regular patrols, but we cannot be everywhere at once.

“If any of the football clubs are finding there is a regular problem we are more than happy to sit down with them and work out a solution.”

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