Ex-pat returns home to South Shields and says the town is a mess

Graham Smith moved to Australia and when he came back to South Shields he says it is a mess with litter everywhere.
Graham Smith moved to Australia and when he came back to South Shields he says it is a mess with litter everywhere.

A South Shields man who has returned to his roots after spending his adult life living abroad says he has been left “disgusted” by the state of his home town.

Graham Smith emigrated to Australia as a youngster with his family, later living in America and New Zealand.

I have been left astounded by the litter that is around. It’s a disgrace.

Graham Smith

He returned to England for a short time in 2000, but he says it is this trip back to South Shields which has left him dismayed.

The 51-year-old, who lived in Bamburgh Avenue, South Shields, as a youngster said: “I have been out and about and I have been left astounded at the litter that is all around. The council were saying that they were cracking down on those who dumped large items – what about those who drop litter?

“I think it’s a disgrace. I contacted the council, but they didn’t seem to see it as a big deal, it’s like people have become complacent about the issue of litter – it’s horrible.”

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “We take the issue of litter and rubbish on our streets very seriously. It has a negative impact on people’s perceptions of an area and a detrimental effect on the environment.

“Our street-cleansing team works extremely hard to keep South Tyneside as clean and tidy as possible and we do a great deal of work to encourage people to support us and take pride in their local area, by urging them to put their litter in the bins provided or take it home.

“Our recently launched Report It campaign makes it easy for people to let us know of any environmental issues such as litter, graffiti, fly tipping and dog fouling, so that they can be addressed and appropriate action taken. ”

People can report issues through the Council’s Customer Service Centre on (0191) 427 7000, online at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit or by text on 07786 200 802.

Further information about rubbish is available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling