DARWEN Town Council is to bid for £10,000 from a special government fund to tackle litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling.

It has put Whitehall Liberal Democrat John East in charge of preparing a bid to find new ways of preventing and deterring the problem of rubbish being dumped in back streets and on open spaces.

He will lead a special task force to look at original methods of reducing the menace which is one of the major complaints of people the town.

It will work up an application around public education and awareness and taking the anti-litter message into schools for the new ‘Litter Innovation Fund’ set up in August by the government.

The decision was taken at this week’s meeting of Darwen Town Council where several members of the public, including chair of The Friends of Ashton Park Janet Pearce, joined councillors in highlighting the problems of litter, dog fouling and flytipping.

Cllr Dave Smith,Sunnyhurst ward Labour representative, backed the move saying: “This is a good idea.”

Cllr East told the meeting that while the deadline for the first round of grants from the £450,000 fund has passed he would prepare a bid for the second round early next year.

The fund is for small-scale ‘innovative’ projects to research and prevent littering but excludes ‘standard litter picking activities’.

Cllr East said: “I have been asked to set up a ‘Litter Innovation Task Force’ by the council to prepare a bid for a grant from this fund.

“I am looking at public education and going into schools to try and prevent the litter-picking, dog fouling and fly-tipping that blights parts of the borough.

“It is one of the most persistent complaints we get from residents.

“I want to work with the borough council, individuals, community and park friends groups to come up with new ways to prevent these problems from happening the first place.”

Cllr Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council Environment boss, said: “We welcome and will support this application.”

He said it would complement the borough’s own use of mobile CCTV cameras and other enforcement measure to try to prevent the problem and catch and penalise those responsible.