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Working for the community

It occurs to me, that all the talk and threats of changes to the benefits system, ignores the fact that unemployed people whether by misfortune or by their own laziness, are perfectly capable of doing something. We know jobs are not easy to come by, yet there is so much work needing to be done. Our streets and countryside are awash with litter and general rubbish, and I can`t think of any reason why any recipient of unemployment benefit should not be asked to do at least one day a week clearing up.
Whatever their status it should not be considered to be degrading to help to keep our country tidy and to at least earn a part of their benefit payment.
The same applies to prisoners, although they would need to be supervised more.
I can hear the Health and Safety gurus holding up their hands in horror.

Comments

Showing 1 - 25 of 31
John R
Yes David , i have often thought the same thing myself regarding the unemployed and indeed any recipient of benefits who are fit and able .  Why can't we all take a bit more pride in our environment by not throwing litter away in the first place, or picking up the odd piece ?       There are many working people who volunteer  their time to beach clean up campaigns , but of course some long term unemployed  people get into a rut  and find it hard to motivate themselves to do anything that does not include a screen of some kind . 
 
If any benefit recipients would be willing to  volunteer  even a couple of hours per week then i will join you ................any takers ?
David B
Thanks John R. I regularly pick up empty and part empty food containers and tins and bottles thrown in the hedges and gutters overnight by anonymous persons, when I walk down to the newsagents to pick up my EDP. I deposit them in any blue bin which happens to be on the pavement or in a front garden. Apologies to my neighbours for this but it`s better than littering the road.
 I wonder if it has been considered to put a levy on fast food and drink retailers to at least partly pay for a council cleaner. Of course, I agree that people should not throw litter away, but take it home. It amazes me that people can cart bags full of food and drink on to the beach or picnic areas, but then can`t be bothered to take home the empty containers.
 A friend once told a young lad to pick up a food container he had thrown on the ground and put it in a nearby litter bin. He did as requested, but his father, who was nearby, told the boy to take it out again and put it on the floor, saying he paid council tax for people to do that job. There is no hope, is there?
Patricia K inactive
I agree  with all the comments made by John R and David B regarding people who dump their litter.
The one thing that is really making me cross is the irresponsible dog owners who not only let their dogs foul the footpaths and verges, but also the ones that pick up after the dog and leave the poly bag stuffed in somebodys hedge or on the pavement  for somebody else to clear up.  Absolutely disgusting!
You know who you are!
Lee
Patricia i completely agree. Those disgraceful dog owners made walking on the solid ice and sludge much worse. The dog mess was spread right across the pavements. Absolutely disgusting. There should be a law that states any dog owner seen without a bag to clear up the mess gets fined. Fined 3 times and they lose the dog.
Patricia K inactive
Lee
That sounds like a good idea, but I think i'ts a bit drastic to say 3 times and lose the dog.  The dog may well have a good and kind home and is loved by their owner. Unfortunately the owners do not like to clean up after their dog.  I think that it is an offence to let your dog foul the footpaths etc. and it can impose a fine of up to £75. The thing is catching them.  I might be wrong, perhaps someone knows.  A  lot of it is caused by dog walkers late at night when they won't be seen.  Most of us have better things to do than stake out an area late at night to try and catch the culprits. 
We have a notice around the lampost outside our property put up by the council, but apparently these ignorant people can't read either.
Lee
My thinking is if you cannot catch them not picking up the mess you should be able to catch them out going out without the tools to pick up the mess. if there even to lazy to have a bag on them to even pretend to pick it up they deserved to be fined. This should be a police matter which should involve them patroling our streets.
Claire Salmon inactive
I am a full time carer for my partner who lives with arthrogryposis, is unable to use his hands, arms or legs, full time wheelchair user and we both do charity work. We work with a local charity helping at events to raise money for either other charities or people in need within the local area. I've also done work with Girlguiding.UK running my own brownie unit. I haven't lived in lowestoft long but I also plan on helping at head clean ups and anything else I find that would fit in with Rays needs. I completely agree that people should 'work' for their benefits and give back to society. Especially if your on jobseekers, but I also feel just because your claiming disability it shouldn't automatically make you exempt many many people with disabilities can do a 'job' even befriending for Ageconcern which can be done via phone. It gives you pride, self esteem, social interaction, purpose, a respected place in society and also looks good on your cv if your circumstances ever change!
Nat Bocking
If you want to help out in your community, contact your local volunteer centre. You can also look on do-it.org.uk though not all opportunities are listed there. I know a man recently made redundant that started volunteering in community transport and he made contacts there with people, impressed by his dedication, that he didn't know before that offered him some part time work.
Sheila C
Frankly Lee I would like to do that to owners of kids 3 times and take them away? they are a far worse problem than any dog.  its not the dog's fault why should he or she be punished and if there were more dog bins around you would not end up with plastic bags in hedges.  A lot of fuss about nothing, as usual.
I'm with Fitness over 40
Joe S
Can't understand why perople are unable to take their dog mess home and put it in the black bin. I have a carrier bag in my pocket and if I can't find a bin I put my little bag in the carrier bag and take it home.
Sheila C
try doing that when you are running with a dog end up witrh a squashy evil mess.  Too much fuss made over here by far.  Years ago no-body ever bothered about things like that?
I'm with Fitness over 40
Barbara A
Oh sheila, How can you say its a fuss over nothing.  Picking up your dogs mess and taking it to the nearest bin or taking it home cant be that difficult can it.?  would you picnic somewhere  and leave your half eaten meal laying about on the ground.  And if you trod in a pile of dog mess that some selfish person had left on the path would you laugh it off ?  Years ago we didn't bother about sanitation at all because we didnt know any better.! WE DO NOW. Would you accept treatment from a doctor  or dentist who was unhygenic  or eat food in a restaurant or cafe or pub where the kitchens were filthy . It costs nothing to be aware and to behave well and responsibly. How can our children learn to be responsible  adults if their elders don't lead by example. As you say its not the dogs fault, but it is the owners fault if he or she chooses to leave said dog poo where said dog has deposited it. If everyone else thought like you we would be back in the times of the plague, covered in boils and dying of all sorts of nasty things.
Joe S
I totally agree with Barbara A. It's YOUR responsibility to pick it up and despose of properly. How Sheila C can say there's too much fuss made over basic cleanliness is beyond me.
David B
I couldn`t have put it better. Well said Barbara A. I`m glad I don`t live near Sheila C.
We have a dog owner in our district who regularly, after dark, allows their dog to deposit large dollops in the middle of the footpath. It is a filthy thing to do, as many young children and their mothers use this path on the way to school and back. It gets on the shoes and pushchair wheels and is then carried into school and homes. So, selfish, careless disgusting dog owner, we residents intend to prosecute if it continues.
Peter D
Hi all this is not the first time (dog mess) has been aired on streetlife and i dont know the answer but i think the lazy owner's who make no attempt at any time will never change until some are named and shamed in court !
Barbara A
Hi David B. I really hope you can catch the selfish , lazy,  unthinking idiot  and he is prosecuted.   Actually not sure about "UNTHINKING" he knows exactly what he is doing.!!
Sheila C
David B  I am glad you dont live near me and incidentally my dog doesnt defecate on pavements but I am not picking up poo in the middle of a field - really most of the problem is that Suffolk is now inendated with Londoners who have no idea how the Countryside works??????  Any poo goes straight into the land as fertiliser - what do you think they use on the fields ?????
I'm with Fitness over 40
Sheila C
Thee are more important things to worry about here than dog mess - get real
I'm with Fitness over 40
Sheila C
Barbara A.  We never had this problem when I was young and the children wernt the white face weak overweight brats they are now with no energy .  We used to go to Felixstowe and the beach was full of dogs and no-body bothered and as for hygiene -  Have you seen the programme on t.v.  you think the restaurant you are eating in is Clean get real what goes on behind the scenes you would never believe.

The problem is that kids these days are so pumped with drugs and not allowed to get in any way "dirty" that they have poor immune systems.  Put your energy into complaining about the amount of "crap" on the market that is being fed to them ?  just quit targeting the dog owner???????
I'm with Fitness over 40
John R
A few years ago we had a problem with a neighbour who let his dog loose to c##p, and it used to do it in front of our house and i had to clean it up...but instead of putting it in the bin ( i know i was naughty )  i used to throw it onto his driveway. This continued for a couple of weeks and then he decided to take the dog for a walk instead of just letting it loose .
Nat Bocking
Sheila C you seem to be ignorant of the very real danger of toxocariasis. Whilst you can legally get away with leaving poo in a field (rather than a footpath) if that  field is popular for dog walkers, it is a great inconvenience to others. There are some very popular fields around here that are frankly disgusting with the amount of poo inconsiderate dog owners leave behind.  Poo takes absolutely ages to break down on the surface.
Barbara A
yes sheila, kids today are not "allowed " out to play and get dirty as we were when we were kids. and i agree that they are taken to the doctor with the slightest sign of a sniffle and parents demand antibiotics as a cure all. But does that really mean that we should go back to the "good old days" when dogs could foul the paths and beaches at will.?   Most beaches have a ban on dogs during the summer months and for good reason when there are people out there who don't have a thought for anyone else.
As for the state of restaurant kitchens, any establishment worth their salt will let you look into their kitchen if you ask them. And if you have any doubts don't eat there.
The amount of "crap" on the market that is fed to children as you put it , is surely a result of parents who cant cook or wont cook. There's a new topic to ponder, Why don't we teach our kids to cook?  My mum taught me, I taught both my sons its becoming a lost skill. I am not saying that i never eat "junk food" of course i do, but once in a while ,not as a matter of course My chinese takeaway last weekend was lovely.!!
Barbara A
Sheila C. Have just read the last paragraph of your piece again... You seem to be saying that kids are so pumped with drugs and have no immune systems left, so its their own fault if they get  ill through contact with dog poo.?   Also your other comment about dog poo in fields turning into fertiliser  that 's as may be, can you see the time when all farmers will be asking all dog owners to come and poo on their fields to save them the time money and effort involved in muck spreading.  Perhaps we are missing a trick here.? But then what do i know, i'm one of those Londoners who came to live here 35yrs ago.
Lisa W
I have been reading the recent threads with interest and how it has developed.  I am a dog owner and I do ensure that any mess is cleaned up.  It does frustrate me when I am out with all our kids that I am forever telling them to watch their step due to a minority of owners who seen etiher unable or incapable of clearing up after their dog.  My father quite often takes our lab out in his scooter as this gives him the opportunity to get out and about.  Although his mobility is getting limited, he still ensures he cleans up after the dog.   At the end of the day, it is down to being responsible.

With regards to Barbara A's comments about teaching kids to cook, I have been a foster carer for the past 10 years, with the majority of young people leaving us to go into independence.  At the minute we have a few young people who are in the early teens.  To help them into independence we show them how to make meals and then the next week they will replicate the same meal with all of them taking it in turns.  Whilst this gives them the skills to be able to cook or even assist with preparing meals this also helps boost their confidence ready to face the big wide world, and encourage them to eat more healthily especially when they have come to us after living on a diet of 'junk food'.
Barbara A
Hi Lisa W.
Massive respect on being a foster mum. What a great job you are doing in preparing  and guiding your youngsters to face the outside world with confidence. 
As for the dog mess debate, i agree 100%, if we all took responsibility for what we do wouldn't the world be a much nicer place.

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