By Jessica Anstice
A Pakenham woman is urging the community to take more pride in Main Street and not to litter.
Joan Cavallaro was walking down Main Street in Pakenham when she started to notice unpleasant scenes surrounding the shop fronts.
The sight was described as “a disgrace” by Ms Cavallaro, after she spotted rubbish and leaves scatted along the footpath and right down the street.
“The leaves have gone inside the shop doorways, but not even the shop owners are sweeping them up. You would think that they would clean in front of their own shops,” she said.
“Who is supposed to clean it? There’s rubbish all over the place – it’s so untidy.
“No one seems to care about anything. You would think they’d have a bit of pride in their own areas. It’s not rushed off their feet at the moment.”
Before the end of 2019, Kelvin Rees, also known as Lefty, would voluntarily sweep the streets of Pakenham every morning – rain, hail or shine.
The 79-year-old fought for his life after he was struck down by a man on a bicycle in the Main Street Plaza car park on 12 November.
Lefty has been on the road to recovery for a long time and now resides in a care home, with regular visits from loved ones.
Since Lefty’s incident, Ms Cavallaro believes the state of Main Street hasn’t been of standard.
“He kept it very tidy all the time so he would be disgusted to see it like this,” she said.
Pakenham business owner, Aileen Day, said she had also noticed the difference during her various visits to the Main Street area – particularly through the coronavirus crisis.
“Lefty delivered such an integral service to the retailers of Main Street through his sheer generosity and his absence certainly in the amount of litter and leaves blowing around on top of his sunny disposition are duly felt and noticed,” she said.
“This is coupled with the reality that many retailers in the Main Street and John Street precinct have continued to stay closed during this Covid-19 experience therefore reducing the amount of resources being put into keeping the streets clean and tidy.”
Ms Day urges retailers that are still trading to ensure their daily routine starts and ends with making sure the areas in and around their shop fronts are kept clean.
“For everyone else, it’s about ensuring that we don’t let Lefty down and we use the bins that are available that are cleared regularly by the council,” she added.
“Every day that I visit I find myself picking up other people’s rubbish. We are a community and as such we need to be responsible for our actions and the environment we create.
“Lefty would do it for us. It’s time we do it for ourselves and make Lefty proud.”
A Cardinia Shire Council spokesperson said the council regularly cleans Main Street, with the last clean undertaken on Monday 29 June.
The council encourages people to place litter in bins and when the bins become full, to report it.