'Don't be a tosser' anti-litter signs annoys parish council

Image caption,
The signs are nailed to trees on Jo Riddell's land

A woman who put up posters saying "Don't be a tosser! Take your litter home" has angered her local parish council.

Jo Riddell decided to tackle the "huge problem" of litter around Stamfordham, Northumberland, with yellow signs on the road leading to her home.

But Stamfordham Parish Council called the signs "inappropriate" and "offensive" and wants them taken down.

Mrs Riddell said: "The litter itself is way more offensive than this sign."

She said the problem became so bad she began picking up the rubbish herself.

"Predominantly it's people that are chucking stuff out of their cars. There's a lot of cans, beer cans, vodka bottles, sandwich packets, McDonald's rubbish.

"I've picked up a pornographic video, I've come across some waste matter from drug users."

'Fantastic humour'

Mrs Riddell said she got the idea from a similar sign she saw on a beach in Australia.

"I thought it was brilliant," she said. "The Australians call a spade a spade and I thought it was a fantastic bit of humour."

However, a meeting of Stamfordham Parish Council was "unanimous that the signs were inappropriate, offensive", said its chairman, Edward Trevelyan.

He added: "They're rather a backward step in keeping the countryside tidy because they're such garish signs and, in the view of the parish council, they should be taken down."

But Mrs Riddell said: "Until the litter situation is greatly improved, something needs to be done.

"I don't exactly see anybody doing anything about it - so I am."

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