Fund launched to brighten up Bootle

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Oxford Gardens granite plinth and lamppost, Bootle. Pic © Shelby Hamilton JMU Journalism

Members of the Bootle community are crowdfunding to raise money to help clean up their local area.

Bootle Action Group, BAG, is trying to get £10,000 to smarten up Bootle and make it a brighter, more invigorating place to live and work.

The money will be used to make improvements and arrange clean-ups of ‘grot spots’ across the area.

Funds will also be used to make improvements to Oxford Gardens by restoring its granite plinth and lamppost – one of Bootle’s oldest monuments – as well as restoring the cast iron Victorian street signs, plus staging the group’s Christmas event this year.

The group wants to make the changes to mark the 150th anniversary of Bootle’s incorporation as a county borough of Lancashire.

Mike Brennan, 38, Chair of Bootle Action Group, told JMU Journalism: “I have lived in Bootle all of my life and I’ve seen it improve dramatically over the years through regeneration. However, since government cuts kicked in, there has been a steady decline in services.

“People say to me ‘why are you bothering? It’s the council’s job to pick up litter’. I say to them, well the council shouldn’t have to pick up litter, however if I volunteer my services and that means council funds can be diverted to vital services such as care and the elderly, then I’m happy to do my part.”

YouTube: Shelby Hamilton

The group,  helped at times by Sefton Council, has been working together to clean up Bootle since Mike set up a Facebook page in 2016.

He arranged a day for picking up litter using equipment provided to them by the council. Now the group consists of a chair, vice-chair, treasurer, secretary and eight regular volunteers, though sometimes as many as 15 help out.

Bootle Action Group cleaning up the community. Pic © Bootle Action Group

BAG has been met with appreciation since it started its work, with the public and businesses such as Asda, Tesco and Harrison’s Tea Rooms showing their support by providing drinks and snacks for the team.

Mr Brennan said: “We get lots of people thanking us for our efforts on the Facebook page. It is also nice to hear ‘thank you’ and ‘keep up the good work’ from people passing by when we are out and about. We hope that the more projects we complete, will entice more volunteers to join us.”

The JustGiving crowdfunding page has raised just over £270  towards their £10,000 goal so far.

About Shelby Hamilton, JMU Journalism