I'VE tried most East European beers, Budvar, Pilsner, Tyskie, Hnus and so on, but I never realised how popular the Polish beer Perla was until I found it was the single most popular item on this week’s community litter pick, writes Cllr Brian Smedley, leader of Bridgwater Town Council.

Bridgwater Town Council has taken on street cleaning and our team is getting on with the job making a difference as Somerset cuts back it services, but there are people who have been out there week in week out doing community litter picks come rain or shine, and they need some recognition and support.

So, this week we joined up with two big litter picks in Sydenham and in Victoria.

Councillors, council staff and volunteers were out there with our litter picking sticks, hi-viz jackets and black bags.

And this is a really important thing to do, yes, the council should and will do this work, but if you want to get to know the scale of the problem, then sign up yourself for one of these litter picks and see just what people chuck down on the ground expecting someone else to pick up, or maybe assuming the discarded coke bottles will make their own way to a bin.

In Communist Czechoslovakia I remember walking out into the streets of Prague on a Saturday morning and the entire neighbourhood was out there picking up litter and sweeping the streets.

No, there weren’t armed police with guns forcing them to, although you would have to have a pretty good reason not to take part in ’Action Z’ as it was called.

In fact, it was a key part of municipal socialism, to work with your neighbours to keep the area clean once the council’s cleaners had done their work.

All working together as a community, and it also gives people a handle on the scale and nature of the problem - and by the way  the ‘Z’ stood for Zvelebovani, Czech for ‘making something nicer’.

Of course, people should know not to just chuck stuff on the ground expecting someone to pick it up.

Me, I blame the Wombles. Kids were literally just throwing their junk on the ground for years expecting some furry pointy snouted council employee to dash out and pick it up.

A few years back I did a spot of litter picking along the canal back with the IWA volunteers and spent an hour digging early 20th century beer bottles out the embankment.

Trumans ‘Eagle Brand’ anyone? Hopefully it wasn’t these holding the canal banks together.

But what I want to say really is a big thank you to the people who go out and do this anyway. You know who you are. Let’s hope others do too, and then join you.