SOME years ago I had the temerity to write a weekly comment on eyesores in the area. I didn’t give it up in despair, but because the situation appeared to be getting better.
More fool me. Clearly, the amount of rubbish in the area seems to be on the increase again, as well as poor attitudes to keeping East Gordon looking good.
Luckily there are still local heroes for those of us who wish to see the situation improve.
As long as Norman Fraser is not only vocal, but active in his one man Ellon tidying up campaign, backed by environmental champion Sandy Milne of Ythan Bank Community Council fame - we can hope.
Good luck to these two stalwarts, but then what about the great unwashed public who seem to regard the litter issue as a problem for other people? They seem to be happy to leave it to Aberdeenshire Council or Ellon Civic Pride who quietly, but effectively, go about their business. Their ranks could be swelled by residents who are happy to moan, but with no intention of getting their hands dirty.
Take a walk into the centre of Ellon on a Saturday or Sunday morning and you’ll find the streets strewn with litter, or even broken bottles. Not a pretty sight, though in fairness to Aberdeenshire, the council are on to it early on these two mornings.
Our local schools are not, of course, blameless, although in the socially aware ones there are good attitudes on school premises. However, when these youngsters are out of school they seem to become different people.
Someone is certainly littering our streets, and it has to stop, particularly at a time when visitors are flooding the area, along with the incessant rains.
Pride should be the spur. Sadly we seem to have lost the very spark that keeps community together, leaving campaigns to others. Perhaps it was ever thus with individuals simply acting in a responsible manner, not having to rely on organisations to champion causes.
I don’t know which is preferable, probably the personal one, which means you are not in danger of being bossed around by middle class groups as is becoming the case around the area.
There is, of course, the more draconian approach of fining people when they offend, something you never hear of, but one that we should not be afraid to implement. It is after all an offence to drop litter.
You could also ask large companies to be a bit more responsible. Many of the environmental issues are industrial, though East Gordon is relatively free of this kind of pollution.
Whatever, we are all in this together!
And finally I am happy to report that Aberdeenshire Council has acknowledged they had a problem at the Ellon Riverside toilets on the day of the Ythan Challenge.
I totally accept there was a communication issue, and note procedures have been put in place to avoid it happening again. These things happen. I appreciated the response.