BARNSTAPLE is a brighter, cleaner place to live this week thanks to the efforts of local people who took part in the first ever Tidy Up Our Town event. Councillors joined schoolchildren, residents, businesses and the police to blitz a number of sites in

BARNSTAPLE is a brighter, cleaner place to live this week thanks to the efforts of local people who took part in the first ever "Tidy Up Our Town" event.Councillors joined schoolchildren, residents, businesses and the police to blitz a number of sites in the town during a week of litter picks and seven full skips!Allotments at Sunnybank, Higher Raleigh and Bryants Field got the make-over treatment, as did Fort Street areas of Pilton, Yeo Valley, Newport, and the River Taw.Leader of North Devon Council, Cllr Mike Harrison joined fellow councillors and staff from McDonald's to help clear more than 20 bags of rubbish from the Newport cycleway on Thursday."I can't believe what we've found," Cllr Julie Hunt told the Gazette. "Some of the stuff we have cleared has been horrendous."Fellow Cllr Jo Barton Constable said she hoped the Barnstaple Town Council Environment Committee initiative could be expanded, with the possibility of another clean-up organised before Christmas.More partners"It would be nice to make this a twice annual event with more businesses and partners involved," she said.Meanwhile on Saturday, Barnstaple's Neighbourhood Police team worked with members of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Red Watch to clean up the riverbed around the town's Long Bridge. Among the debris recovered by off-duty officers were a large quantity of agricultural tyres, car batteries, shopping trolleys, bikes and even a car gearbox! "All these items are damaging to the environment and wildlife and pose a real danger to anyone using the river," said town centre neighbourhood beat officer Ewan Seear."Fly tipping and littering like this is a criminal offence and anyone found putting tyres, trolleys, bikes and other litter into the estuary can be prosecuted," he added.