Rubbish Friends celebrate a job well done at West Lancs Yacht Club

Rubbish Friends celebrate a job well done

Rubbish Friends celebrate a job well done

Rubbish Friends had a great morning cleaning up the area around West Lancs Yacht Club and the sand dunes around the Marine Lake including the inlet.

Over 20 bags of rubbish were collected which Rubbish Friends hope will make a huge difference to the area.

Volunteers again raised concerns about the amount of litter from the fast food restaurants in the area.

Councillor Sue McGuire has agreed to raise the issue with the restaurants to see if they can extend their current litter picking operations to include a wider area around the sea front.

Councillor Pat Keith added “A huge thank you to the volunteers who continue to work so hard to make Southport a litter free zone”

Councillor Sue McGuire asks “Are you a Rubbish Friend?”

Rubbish Friends tackle Kew Roundabout in 2015

Rubbish Friends volunteers pictured following the clean up at Kew Roundabout in 2015

If so then we would love you to join us at our next litter pick on Saturday 13th August. This time the team of intrepid volunteers will be undertaking a clean up at Kew Roundabout.

This is an annual event which we try to do in time for the Flower Show. Many people attend the event and we think its important that their first view as they approach Southport isn’t a litter strewn roundabout.

We’ll be meeting in the car park of B&Q at 10:30am, a flask of coffee will be on offer!

Litter pickers, bags and gloves will be provided.

Councillor Sue McGuire & Councillor Pat Keith would also like to say a huge thanks to those people who helped in the Rubbish Friends clean up with Southport Hoteliers. Everyone worked really hard cleaning up the Promenade in time for the Britain in Bloom judging.

Rubbish Friends and Southport Hoteliers Association team up to clean up for Britain in Bloom judging

Rubbish Friend volunteers pictured after their clean up

Rubbish Friend volunteers pictured after their clean up work for Britain in Bloom judging

A big thank you to all the intrepid volunteers worked alongside members of Southport Hoteliers Association to spruce up the area between the Promenade, Bath Street and Neville Street in time for the Britain in Bloom judging on Friday 5th August.

Councillor Sue McGuire, co-founder of the Rubbish Friends group explained

“Nothing stands out more than one piece of litter in a perfectly coiffured flower bed or a weed in a gutter. Rubbish Friends want to do their bit to support the work of the other fantastic volunteer groups; Lord Street in Bloom and the Friends of Rotten Row Gardeners to make Southport bloom.”

Tracy Holgate, Chairperson of Southport Hoteliers Association and one of the event organisers added

“With over 15 volunteers, we were able to undertake an extensive clean up in the area collecting in total 23 bags of rubbish and weeds”.

“Rubbish Friends” are happy to work whatever the weather!!

Cllrs Sue McGuire & Pat Keith with their "Rubbish Friends"

Cllrs Sue McGuire & Pat Keith with their “Rubbish Friends”

Rain may have stopped play at Wimbledon recently but it certainly didn’t stop the Rubbish Friends litter picking group in their most recent clean up in Southport earlier this month.

The team of intrepid volunteers battled on under iron grey skies and persistent rain to clean up the area between Morrison’s supermarket, Dunes Leisure Centre and Victoria Park, collecting a staggering 12 bags of rubbish.

Councillor Sue McGuire, co-founder of the Rubbish Friends group explained “We wanted to clean up this area before the North West In Bloom judges visited. Nothing stands out more than one piece of litter in a perfectly coiffured flower bed.”

Councillor McGuire added “Rubbish Friends also wanted to do their bit to support the work that the other fantastic volunteer groups, Lord Street in Bloom and the Friends of Rotten Row Gardeners, do to make Southport bloom.”

Councillor Pat Keith added “It is the on-going aim of Rubbish Friends to make Southport a litter free zone.”

The group will be next out on Wednesday 3rd August working alongside volunteers from The Southport Hoteliers Association and the Lord Street in Bloom group to tackle any grot spots on The Promenade before the next Britain in Bloom judging on the 5th August.

The group will be meeting outside the Ambassador TownHouse on Bath Street at 12:30pm. Anyone who wants to get involved please get in touch with Councillor Sue McGuire on 07766 968162 or email


Bath Street set for a Spookport clean up

Southport’s acclaimed Rubbish Friends are joining forces with the town’s Hoteliers Association and Lord Street Gardeners to ensure the town is blooming lovely!

The three organisations have targeted Bath Street and surrounding areas as their clean-up priorities in time for the launch of the Halloween spectacular Spookport.

The seasonal celebration , organised by Southport BID, begins with a Spookport Parade on October 24 and runs to November 2, comprising more than 50 events at venues across the town and Bath Street has been targeted for the clean-up.

“ Bath Street is often overlooked in terms of regeneration but it plays a key role in accommodating visitors to Southport with its range of bed and breakfast venues and we want to improve the appearance of this important area,” said Tracy Holgate, chair of the town’s hoteliers association and owner of Ambassador Townhouse .

“ We’re talking with the council and the BID team about ways to improve the appearance of this area which is important to the visitor economy. Linking up with the Rubbish Friends volunteers is the first big step and we’d like them to get in the Halloween mood by coming in fancy dress. Any old witch’s hat will do! ”

Rubbish Friends co-founder Councillor Pat Keith commented “Our litter heroes are delighted to be invited to help with this event as a prelude to our imminent campaign to put a sparkle back into Lord Street which should be Southport’s shining light.”

The clean up is set to take place on Wednesday 21st October from12 till 2 meeting outside the Ambassador Townhouse. For further details please contact Tracy Holgate on 543998.

Rubbish Friends celebrate a job well done


Rubbish Friends celebrate a job well done

Southport’s litter heroes donned their Rubbish Friends jackets and sprang into action to make the resort sparkle for this year’s Flower Show.

Lib Dem councillors turned out to swell the ranks of the litterazzi as figures were revealed that the annual cost of keeping Britain’s streets clean and tidy is almost £1billion.

We need to change our attitude to litter if we are serious about promoting Southport as a clean and healthy environment for tourists, the figure of almost £1 billion underlines the importance of the work our public spirited residents undertake – our success is down to them.” said Councillor Pat Keith, who founded Rubbish Friends with her colleague Councillor Sue McGuire in 2012. “We all have a role to play – it’s not someone else’s problem.”

The latest clean-up mission by Rubbish Friends, in the area of Kew roundabout, produced more than 20 bags of litter as a report commissioned by Keep Britain Tidy revealed the true cost to tax payers of keeping the country free of litter.

Councillor Sue McGuire said “Dropping litter should be recognised as anti-social, when people see rubbish on a street it sends a message that dropping litter is somehow OK. We need people understand the damage that littering causes to an area. Its time that local authorities, fast food companies and supermarket chains started to work together to find a solution to this growing problem before its too late.”

If you would like to be a Rubbish Friend to Southport please get in touch.

“State of the roundabouts could undermine Southport’s chance in Britain in Bloom competition”

Cllrs Sue McGuire & PAt Keith inspect the weeds on the Arglye Road roundabout

Cllrs Sue McGuire & PAt Keith inspect the weeds on the Arglye Road roundabout

Two Southport councillors have marched into action to improve what they call the “appalling state” of two of Southport’s roundabouts as Britain in Bloom judgement day looms.

Cambridge Ward Lib Dem Councillors Sue McGuire and Pat Keith say they are dismayed at the condition of the Argyle Road and Cambridge Road roundabouts.

“Last year Councillor McGuire and myself paid for these roundabouts to be planted out of our own Cambridge Ward funds and we did this on the understanding that they would be kept weed free and maintained,” said Councillor Keith.

“ But this has not happened and the roundabouts look a sorry sight, especially in a town that prides itself on its floral displays and has always been a leading contender for honours in the Britian in Bloom competition.

“We’ve asked Sefton Council to take urgent steps to tidy the two roundabouts which, quite frankly, are a blight on the town.”

Southport will be judged by Britain in Bloom on July 28 and the two councillors are concerned that the poor state of the roundabouts, which are at key junctions, will have a negative effect on the judging and undermine the work undertaken by the green fingered volunteers on Lord Street, Rotten Row, Hesketh Park and the Botanic Gardens.

Councillor Sue McGuire said “Sometimes the short sightedness of Sefton Council astounds me. When the Council put forward the proposal for roundabout sponsorship we argued that part of the sponsorship money should be ring fenced and used for on-going maintenance of the roundabouts. This suggestion was ignored and as a result the roundabouts are now just islands of weeds”.

“We assumed that the Council would make some attempt at maintenance in addition to grass cutting – how wrong we were. Council regulations mean that we can’t pay for any on-going maintenance ourselves and the volunteers are banned from tackling the roundabouts for health and safety reasons.”

“We have asked the Council to take urgent steps to at least weed these roundabouts before the judging visit so I hope that they will – and that civic pride will prevail.”

“Children’s art goes in the bin” says Cllr Pat Keith


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Councillors Pat Keith & Sue McGuire pictured with the competition winners and bin wagons

Councillors Pat Keith & Sue McGuire pictured with the competition winners and bin wagons

Southport primary school children have created some imaginative messages aimed at keeping Southport clean and tidy…and they will be coming to a bin or refuse lorry near you!

A ground breaking scheme organised by Rubbish Friends in association with Sefton Council and Southport MP John Pugh, was launched when the winner and runners up in a schools competition to find the best anti-litter slogans saw the results of their entries go public.

Council officials, councillors, teachers and the competition finalists gathered at St. Patrick’s Primary School when one of their pupils10 year old Grace Wareing saw her winning entry emblazoned on the town’s bins and on the refuse lorry.

Grace’s entry, under the banner Rubbish Friends, states: “Bag it, bin it, and make Sefton cleaner. It’s simple.”

Runners up Abigail Finn (Marshside Primary) Travis Bennett (Kings Meadow) and Class 8 (Merefield School) Also attended and their entries will feature alongside Grace’s on the bin lorry.

Councillor Pat Keith, joint founder of Rubbish Friends with her Cambridge Ward colleague Sue McGuire, presented the awards and said: “ The response from Southport schools was magnificent and I’m delighted that children have the opportunity to lead the way. “Young people have a great ability to communicate in a simple way yet deliver a powerful message as the winning entries demonstrate. It’s not only a great boost for our campaign but it should also encourage people to consider their own environment and respect their surroundings.

Councillor McGuire said: “ Getting the children involved in Rubbish Friends is an investment in Southport’s future and it means that the initiative we started now has support across all age ranges.”

This competition is believed to be one of the first in the UK and the town’s MP John Pugh said:

“Children are concerned about the environment and this competition has enabled them to use their voice and deliver an anti-litter message loud and clear. I hope that  those who throw litter will heed the children and make Southport a litter free zone.”

Ban the bag and cut down on litter

Southport councillors Sue McGuire and Pat Keith are backing the proposed five pence charge on all single-use plastic bags  in England as outlined in the Queens speech. The charge which was proposed at the Liberal Democrat conference in 2013, is set to be introduced in October 2015.

There is already a similar charge on bags in Wales and Northern Ireland and evidence suggests that a charge will significantly reduced the number of plastic bags distributed in England.

The aim of introducing a charge is to reduce the distribution of plastic bags and to tackle the issue of littering and waste.

Councillor Sue McGuire said “In 2012, more that 7 billion single-use plastic bags were handed out by supermarkets in England and this move will bring England in line with Wales where a similar charge has helped reduce plastic bag usage by 75% – anything that helps to protect the environment and reduced littering should be supported.”

Sue  Pat plastic bags

Sue & Pat tackle plastic bags at Kew Roundabout clean-up

When the councillors noticed that the majority of the litter picked up by their Rubbish Friends volunteers comprised of plastic bags they joined forces with Transition Southport to encourage people to steer away from plastic and make cloth bags instead.

Councillor Pat Keith said: “It’s perverse to think that we take a resource from the earth such as petroleum, a by-product of oil, to make plastic and create a non-biodegradable substance that will kill the very source it came from – our planet. Cloth bags don’t cost the earth but plastic bags literally cost the earth..”

Pat Sue and Yaso proudly display thier bags

Pat & Sue pictured with Yaso display their new cloth bags at a recent “bag-making” event


Rubbish Friends to tackle marine debris on Southport Beach

Rubbish Friends 10 13 smallThe volunteer litter pickers “Rubbish Friends” will be joining with the “Love My Beach” volunteers in their first clean up of 2014.

The two volunteer organisations will be working together with Sefton Council’s Coast and Countryside rangers to help clear the beach of marine litter on Saturday 15th February.

Councillor Sue McGuire, one of the founders of “Rubbish Friends” explained “The recent high tides and strong winds has meant there is an huge amount of additional debris on our beach and so we are delighted that “Love my Beach” are joining forces with is for this vital clean-up.”

Councillor Pat Keith will join her Cambridge Ward Colleague to supervise the operation and said “Litter is a blight wherever its found but we are so fortunate that we have a growing group of volunteers who willingly put in their time and effort to clear it. In my opinion they are our “litter heroes.”

Councillor Sue McGuire added “We are really proud of the work that “Rubbish Friends” put in to clean up grot spots around our area and both Pat & myself would encourage everyone to get involved”.

If you would like to be a Southport “Rubbish Friends” please join us on Saturday 15th February in the car park closest to Fairways Roundabout (free parking for volunteers) on Marine Drive at 10:30am. Gloves and equipment will be provided.