'KEEP your town tidy' is the message from Chesham Town Council after they launched an anti-litter campaign this week.

Councillors fed up at the fact enough rubbish to fill eight bin bags is dropped in the town each day officially started the 'Stop the Drop' campaign on Monday.

And they hope the move will encourage residents to take part in regular litter pick-ups where they live to help lift the burden from overworked council workmen.

Cllr Chris Spruytenburg said hotspots for litter problems are on walking routes away from schools and fast food takeaways, and in Lowndes Park.

He said: "It's not just about children and young people, it's about adults as well becoming more socially aware that it has a bad effect on your living environment. It's not very nice to see various pieces of litter in the gutter or on the road. All it needs is for them to say, 'I'm going to take this home and it in the bin, or find one on the way home'.

"Some people just aren't aware of the damage they are doing to the environment. Broken glass, for example, can be really dangerous.

"Taking your litter home and keeping your town tidy should be something you take pride in doing.

"We want people to become proud of Chesham and their area, and encourage community-minded people to organise their streets and have litter pick ups on a regular basis.

"We've had Chesham in Bloom involved as we are very keen they improve on their silver gilt status. They've done a brilliant job and we want this to complement their work."

Posters will be put up around the town to make residents aware of the campaign - and the consequences of dropping rubbish.

Littering is a criminal offence and the posters warn residents they can be fined if they're caught leaving a mess.

Cllr Spruytenburg said: "We are investigating with the police to see if there's a way we could develop a policy where PCSOs approach people who've been seen to drop litter.

"It's technically a criminal offence to drop litter but it's not enforced. What we are trying to do is say, what you are doing is quite serious."

He added: "We want to make it part of our policy so it's not just seen as a one-off. It's a long-term educational effort."