AN anti-litter campaigner has called on students to help in the ongoing fight against rubbish.

Darlington School of Mathematics and Science pupils were enlisted by councillor Gerald Lee, who represents Heighington at Darlington Borough Council, at a special talk he gave at the school.

Coun Lee painted a stark picture of a world ruined by rubbish on a local, international and global scale.

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He outlined a country where wildlife was being injured and maimed living among the detritus, a future overrun by vermin and a region in which business, tourism and prosperity were all threatened by litter.

Darlington Borough Council spend £1.3m a year collecting litter, while 50 per cent of the population of the town has admitted dropping rubbish.

Mr Lee linked his fight against litter to the potential of tourism in the region, which is worth £4bn a year and employs 89,000 people and 7,000 businesses.

“It’s big business and something we can increase to provide a lot of work for the population,” he said.

“But would you want to visit an area that was full of litter? It’s the same with business. Entrepreneurs are always looking for place to set up. Would you want to come to Darlington if it was full of litter?

“These companies come to benefit themselves and they need to be attracted. They won’t come if the place looks scruffy.”

He added: “The solution is simple; don’t drop litter, use the bins or take it home with you. Organise yourselves and keep you community free of litter. Have pride in your neighbourhood, town and country.”

Students were urged to take part in the Big Spring Clean, from April 7 – May 11.

Head teacher Calvin Kipling said: “This school and community has a very proud tradition and I am sure Coun Lee’s message has struck home.

“We are so fortunate living in such a beautiful part of the country and I am sure we will all do our utmost to help keep it that way.”