COMMUNITY-minded residents were joined by a Bournemouth MP as they gave their neighbourhood a thorough spring clean.

Volunteers braved the cold to collect several bags of litter from the streets and park areas of Townsend.

Among those helping out were Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood and Strouden Park councillor Michael Weinhonig.

Mr Ellwood said: “I walk through this area a lot with my family and we noticed an increasing amount of litter. We have been picking up bits and pieces but it needed a more thorough clean.

“Otherwise, the problem is that people see litter as a norm and it becomes easier to drop rubbish if the area is already messy. The community doesn’t have to put up with that, everybody wants a better standard.

“By the community coming out and doing it ourselves, there’s a real sense of ownership. I hope other communities will take Townsend’s lead and follow suit.”

And Caroline Abbis, a neighbourhood worker on the Townsend Together Team, said: “Clearing litter is a never-ending battle but it’s a good start and I think people note that somebody is trying to do something in the area.”