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Rubbish collectors were forced to pick up litter on their hands and knees in Helston last week due to the actions of “social deviants” and the “lack of civilisation” by some residents.

This was the news after Jude Carroll, who lives in Wendron Street, complained about the state of the town following the weekly rubbish collection when she attended the town council meeting last Thursday.

As a result, a crackdown has begun that will see offenders fined.

Mrs Carroll said she was “ashamed” to live in a street where rubbish was put out in just a bin bag, not covered or in a dustbin – meaning seagulls attacked them, strewing letter everywhere.

She said: “I think our refuse collectors are brilliant. I think their job is probably made harder by the people who show such little feeling about the community they’re in.

“I’m ashamed to be part of this street that looks this messy. I think if anybody drives through the town who might be thinking of coming for a holiday or opening a business they would just keep on driving if they happened to pass through early on Wednesday.

“I walk out of my front door and I’ve got rubbish on the right of me, on the left of me and across the street from me. I can’t understand why people in this town have so little sense or lack of civilisation to put out rubbish in ordinary black bags.”

She predicted this would be the same situation all through this summer, just as it was last summer.

Councillor Jonathan Radford-Gaby agreed, saying: “I was standing in the window watching the refuse collectors and, God bless them, they were on their hands and knees picking up the rubbish the social deviants had left out for the seagulls.

“It’s not hard to cover your rubbish with an old blanket or put it in a dustbin. To fling it out in the street with complete gay abandon is nothing short of disgraceful.”

Mayor Mike Thomas said he had seen a visitor from Australia cleaning up the pavement with a dustpan and brush, after a bag had burst.

Members agreed the time of posters and warning letters had passed and now prosecutions were needed.

The matter will now be raised with Helston’s Cornwall Councillors with a view to beginning fines for offenders.

Seagull-proof sacks can be bought from Helston One Stop Shop, in the alleyway to the Tyacke Road car park, for £3.50.

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