As I write football history has just been re-written with England beating Germany in a competitive match at Wembley for the first time in my lifetime! There are a great many things to worry about as we emerge from this dreadful pandemic but many would have been cheered to see an entertaining game and, for England, a good result. While (I know from experience!) no expectations should be raised about future rounds, simply seeing the crowds in Wembley is a sign of us demonstrably moving back to normality - an aspiration fully endorsed by the new Health Secretary this week.
On more (literally) down to earth issues, on Saturday I joined BilliGreen helped by the Billingshurst Wardens, local Councillors and volunteers to clear litter. It was sobering to see how many bags of rubbish were collected.
BilliGreen are seeking to advance a local environmental agenda in every way to improve the local quality of life. It may seem basic but simply properly disposing/recycling daily items makes a huge difference to others (and for that matter to wildlife, water courses and the environment).
This is an area in which Government are seeking to help: since the introduction of the plastic bag charge, there has been a 95% cut in supermarket plastic bag sales. The charge, now increased to 10p and extended to all retailers (which is expected to further reduce plastic bag usage), has raised almost £180million for good causes.
The Government is also committed to establishing a bottle deposit return scheme with a consultation underway on its introduction. Similarly many supermarkets are responding to consumers by reducing (and using compostable) packaging.
Also worth noting is that Wilkos, in Swan Walk, have a recycling collection point for single-use face masks and Superdrug has a collection point for empty medicine blister packs, with financial donations being made to Marie Curie.
The BilliGreen group have set up a recycling point in Chapel Car Park, Billingshurst. More information can be found here: http://www.billingshurst.gov.uk/_UserFiles/Files/BILLIGREEN%20POSTER%20APRIL%202021.pdf
Lastly I was sorry to read this week of Jules White’s forthcoming retirement from Tanbridge. He has characteristically done the decent thing by the school by announcing his intentions early and will be in post until the New Year when there will be an opportunity to mark his retirement. However suffice it to say he has made a deep and lasting impression on Tanbridge, taking on the role at a particularly difficult time, securing significant investment and helping to transform the school’s reputation. I wish him and THS all the very best.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Quin and volunteers litter picking.