STAFF at Spar supermarket in Hagley have agreed to carry out regular litter picks in the village centre, following a rise in complaints to the parish council.

Hagley Parish Council spends around £13,000 each year to clear litter from playing fields, car parks and the high street shopping area.

But a rise in complaints from residents led the council to write to a number of local businesses which sell food and drink, asking them to volunteer staff to help reduce the amount of litter, and the cost to the public purse to clear it up.

Donna Cooper, area manager of AF Blakemore and Sons Ltd, which runs Hagley Spar, said: "We want to make a positive contribution to the community and we feel that if we can help to reduce the amount of litter in the area it will then help to deter people from dropping litter in the first place.

"From our experiences elsewhere we have found that well kept clean environments attract little extra litter.

"It is also a great opportunity for our staff to work as a team away from the work environment."

Chairman of Hagley Parish Council Steve Colella added: "This is a great example where a local business is supporting the parish council and helping to keep the area tidy and free from litter.

"It's common to see large hot food restaurants carry out litter picks in areas of towns and cities, but for a business to do the same in a smaller place the size of Hagley just shows how much they want to feel a part of the community.

"I'd make an appeal for other businesses to join in too."