PEOPLE in the Taunton and Minehead areas are being urged to clean up their neighbourhoods.

Somerset West and Taunton Council is calling on everyone to get behind the Great British September Clean and help keep the district tidy.

The national event, postponed during lockdown, runs until September 27.

The council is supporting local groups and individuals taking part in or co-ordinating litter clearing efforts by providing litter grabbers and tabards.

It has also arranged to pick up and take away rubbish bags collected at litter picks.

Council leader Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts took part in a community litter pick at Longrun Meadow and French Weir Park on Saturday.

The event, organised by the Taunton Neighbourhood Policing Team, followed Covid-19 guidelines with volunteers two metres apart, wearing masks and gloves.

It was supported by the Friends of Longrun and staff from COACH, with donations of water, fruit and snacks from Tesco supermarket.

Cllr Smith-Roberts said: “I hope this campaign will see bad habits and carelessness replaced by positive attitudes to rubbish and a lasting sense of public responsibility.

“The council is particularly pleased to see its parks and open spaces included in the local clean up as national statistics show that more than half of the country’s parks have experienced a rise in issues, including litter and anti-social behaviour, since lockdown was eased.

“We hear much about the problems caused by litter but we don’t often hear about the efforts of staff and the army of volunteers to clear it up, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for the work they do all year round in making our parks and open spaces places we can all enjoy.”

People are being asked to support the Great British September Clean by organising a private clean-up with up to five other family and friends or pledging to do your own individual clean-up.