A schoolboy was so moved by the state of litter in his community that he collected waste daily on his way to school.
Luke Smart, eight, wrote to his ward councillors to express his dismay over litter after staging daily clean-ups with his mum Emma as they walked to and from the school.
Mrs Smart said: “I am really proud of Luke. We have always tried to encourage him to look after the environment and we have always instilled in him the importance of being proactive rather than just complaining.
“Collecting litter as we walked to and from school was our way of being proactive and in no time at all we had collected nine bags of rubbish.
“I subsequently encouraged Luke to write to his local councillors – Sandra Belcher, John Tennant and Paddy Brown - and I am delighted that they responded so positively.”
After the letter members of the Eco-Club at Throston Primary School staged a litter pick in and around their school, with support from Irene Cross, a community cohesion officer with Hartlepool Borough Council.
Irene said: “The Jesmond Ward councillors were so impressed with Luke’s letter that I was asked to contact the school. They also agreed to provide some of their ward member budgets to pay for two new litter bins in the area.
“After speaking to the school it was agreed that the Eco-Club would stage a litter pick and although Luke isn’t currently a member of the club (it comprises one representative from each year group) he was invited to take part too.”
Teacher Abby Davies, who runs Throston Primary School’s Eco-Club, said: “Luke deserves a lot of credit for not only raising awareness of the problem caused by litter in our neighbourhood but also doing something about it.”