A WHEELBARROW, several shopping trolleys and a commode were among the rubbish collected during an annual drive to clean up a town.

Councillors, business leaders and community-spirited residents took to the streets of Didcot on March 24 to pick up rubbish left on the streets.

The Didcot Town Council-organised event saw more than 70 people don their hi-vis jackets and target known dirty parts of Ladygrove, Cockcroft and around the Civic Hall in Broadway.

Two van loads of rubbish were collected.

Chairman of the town council’s environment committee, councillor Steve Connel, said: “We as councillors are also residents of Didcot and it is a real pleasure when as a town council we can use our power to bring the community together and make Didcot an even better place to live.”

The event saw several strands of the local community pull together.

Groups including the scouts, cadets and Didcot Rugby Club contributed volunteers, while the Didcot Community Church and Willowbrook Community Centre offered their facilities.

South Oxfordshire District Council provided the picking equipment and collected the rubbish, and the local branch of Tesco donated doughnuts.

Former mayor Des Healy, who represents Park ward, said: “I never miss it, I think it is an excellent event, I really enjoy it.

“I have supported it now for seven years and am always thrilled at the number of people who come out to lend a hand.

“We have up to 100 people when the weather is nice and it is great to see families come out and show their support.”

Mr Healy said some people had raised objections to the event previously, because they saw cleaning up as the job of the council.

But he said he felt it reinforced a community spirit and helped to install good habits in the younger generation.

He added: “The fact is, it shows pride in your town.

“Everyone can afford to spend a few hours once a year to help clean up.

“And I do think it makes people think twice about littering in the future.

“Particularly some of the younger volunteers who were getting very enthused about it.

“It’s great to give them that pride in where they live from an early age.”

The event was held as part of the Great British Spring Clean which inspired 400,000 ‘litter heroes’ to clear up their streets.