Crawley councillor pledges to tackle dumped trolley blight

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A new Crawley cabinet member has prioritised tackling the issue of shopping trolleys being dumped in town.

Cllr Geraint Thomas (Lab, Northgate) pledged to use his ‘powers of persuasion’ as cabinet member of Environmental Services and Sustainability.

Cllr Thomas, who was appointed on Wednesday (May 11), said he would speak to council officers this week about calling on supermarkets to run a daily collection service in town.

He wanted the retailers’ staff to report abandoned trolleys - proposing they did it in two-week cycles, spending a day in each of the town’s 14 neighbourhoods.

He said: “The one thing I would like to focus on is abandoned shopping trolleys.

“I think it’s the responsibility of companies to do their own monitoring.”

The borough council has urged townsfolk to report abandoned trolleys to individual retailers or to supermarkets signed up with a private collection service, Trolleywise, after more than 30 were found in a weekend.

Cllr Thomas said: “It’s quite hard to remember these things with all the other pressures in life.

“One can’t have major initiatives in an area but I know the public are concerned.

“It detracts from the image of the town seeing them lying around in all sorts of places very often.”

Cllr Thomas has also pledged to continue the work of his predecessor Colin Lloyd, who stepped down from the council in this year’s local elections.

Mr Lloyd increased annual spending on grass cutting by £50,000.

But Cllr Thomas said he would not seek to increase the funding further citing finanical pressures on the council.

He said: “If we maintain the quality of service going we have at the moment that in itself will be an achievement.”

Cllr Thomas has taught geography at Hazelwick and St Wilfrid’s schools and has a Masters degree in town planning.

Leader of the council, Peter Lamb, said: “I’m delighted to add Geraint’s knowledge and experience to the Cabinet.

“Geraint is passionate about the environment and this role marries his expertise and support to protect the natural world with his understanding of the town.”

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