Saturday, February 27, 2010

Club Litter

It seems that Cornmarket is increasingly the new centre of Belfast. Now that the Streets Ahead work has been completed (eventually) and the new Spirit of Belfast statue has been installed, Cornmarket is very busy on a Saturday. Perhaps it's due to it being the interface between Victoria Square and the rest of the city centre. Maybe because there's actually some space to stand and catch passersby. Maybe because it's a pedestrian area free from encroaching traffic. Whatever the reason, Cornmarket and Arthur Square is busy on Saturdays.

It's the place where the Belfast Vineyard Church offers prayer for healing. It's also where the publicity people for the various nightclubs and entertainment hotspots gather, giving out their flyers to those they deem clubworthy. As a point of clarification, I've never been invited to their clubs. All these people are involved in giving out postcards to tempt revellers, but today I noticed a worrying pattern of almost deliberate littering on the streets of Belfast.

I accept that occasionally someone will throw down a leaflet they've been given. The promoters can't really do much about that. But that leniency should only be when the promoters are putting leaflets in peoples' hands. We followed two promoters down Castle Lane. The guy was leaving his postcards on the roadworks barriers every three steps or so - perhaps in the hope someone would find them and be persuaded to come to the club. But as soon as he set them down, while his hand was still beside them, they were blowing off onto the footpath. Not a great idea for his promotions, and a blatant case of littering. Besides, he isn't likely to come and lift all the ones that survive until Sunday morning, is he, so yet more littering, and more work for the council street cleaners.

How can they continue to get away with this littering? Will it end up even worse as more nightspots get into the promotions circuit? Belfast City Council has already spent lots of money on ads on the side of buses and bus stops about the worsening state of litter. It's wrong all the time, but even more so if it's being done by businesses.

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