Volunteers cleaning up Warwick district say they were verbally abused by council contractors

Volunteers who were working to clean up the district were reportedly verbally abused by council contractors today (Wednesday).

This week Leam Trash Friends, who are a group of volunteers that work to clear up needles, rubbish and fly tipping from the streets, have been holding community clean up days.

The clean up effort started yesterday (Tuesday) and continued today and is due to continue tomorrow.

Leam Trash Friends volunteers were joined today by staff from The Midcounties Coop (the main supporters over the three days as part of their volunteering week) and The Coop across.

However during the clean up effort it has been reported that volunteers were verbally abused by contractors from Warwick District Council and that the contractors also refused to clear away the waste the volunteers had collected.

Read more: Help needed for community clean-up days in Warwick district

Some of the rubbish cleared by volunteers during one the Leam Trash Friends community clean up days. Photo by Leam Trash Friends.

Some of the rubbish cleared by volunteers during one the Leam Trash Friends community clean up days. Photo by Leam Trash Friends.

A spokesperson from Leam Trash Friends said: "Volunteers were verbally abused by council contractors today (Wednesday) on World Environment Day and national volunteers week and they refuse to collect waste.

"Firstly a heartfelt and sincere apology to the volunteers affected by the verbal abuse from council contract staff today. It is not acceptable in anyway shape or form.

"Secondly please accept our deepest apologies in advance if you are effected by the piles of waste awaiting collection. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. We are urgently raising funds to get a van to move it ourselves to the tip.

"It is with great sadness we have to announce our relationship with Warwick District council and its contractors has become untenable and we are raising this at the highest level of the council.

"When people volunteer for us we must ensure we provide a safe, pleasant working environment for them to undertake work. Under no circumstances do we condone or accept the behaviour displayed today.

Read more: ‘Day of action’ in Warwick district takes six tonnes of rubbish and 1,200 needles off streets

"We can assure you this will not be repeated again. Our day of action will go ahead tomorrow however our works will be altered to minimize the inconvenience to the public whilst we arrange the waste being collected.

"Once again we are sorry to all effected as a result of today's incident. "

A spokesperson from Warwick District Council said: "Warwick District Council have received a complaint and an investigation with our contractors Veolia is currently under way.”