A NEW group has been formed in a bid to make Musselburgh “the best looking” town in East Lothian.

Called the Musselburgh Renegade Street Sweepers, it aims to meet up on a weekly basis to take on sprucing up parts of the Honest Toun by litter picking, weeding, cleaning and general tidying up.

The initiative was launched following the efforts of environment group Love Musselburgh CIC whose volunteers took on the task of painting picnic tables with seats near the Promenade.

Michael Philp, of Fisherrow, who set up Musselburgh Renegade Street Sweepers, said: “I set up the group to see if we could start to arrange regular volunteer work groups to go out and do little weeding jobs and tidying up the area. I thought it would be a good thing to have a separate group of people happy to help and to concentrate on what we could do as a community rather than things we can’t.”

A Facebook page was created and has already attracted more than 60 members.

Mr Philp said he has already been out to do some weeding around a few of the benches on the Promenade, adding: “I hope we can inspire others to come and help with little projects.”

He said: “Hopefully this group will grow.

“We have no money or tools yet, apart from maybe tools lying in the shed or garage, but what we have is determination and passion to make change, do things together to fix and mend what might be broken.

“I came to Musselburgh as a child in 1972 and it’s suffered like many, many towns up and down the UK with cutbacks to many services.

“We can sit and talk and debate about who’s to blame and say who should be doing this and who should be doing that, but it doesn’t solve things, so I thought we could do some little bits.

“Others are doing it in other local towns with great success. I’d like people to post up things that they feel need attention and we will see if we can get a plan together and get some things sorted.”

Melanie Roccio, who set up Love Musselburgh, is supporting the group.

She said: “It would be great to hear from everybody about any streets or areas around town you have noticed are in need of a little bit of TLC. Is there some overgrown shrubbery that could do with being cut back, something that could do with a fresh coat of paint or some graffiti that needs cleaned?”

To sign up for the Musselburgh Renegade Street Sweepers, go to www.facebook.com/groups/771242726748897/?ref=share

Councillor Andy Forrest, Depute Provost of East Lothian, said: “This is a very welcome initiative for the town which reflects the pride many local residents have for Musselburgh. The council is always keen to support such endeavours and encourage similar groups who volunteer to enhance their local environment.”

Fellow ward member Councillor Katie Mackie commented: “It’s really appreciated that local residents are volunteering to help keep Musselburgh tidy. Civic pride is important and hopefully this group can supplement the routine street cleaning and waste disposal work done by East Lothian Council’s hard working waste workers. It’s important there is a coordinated approach between the group and the council, and I would be happy to help facilitate this if it is required.”

Finally, Councillor John Williamson said: “The Musselburgh Renegade Street Sweepers is the latest in a number of initiatives in Musselburgh which demonstrate the growing pride in our town and a determination to make it a better place for everyone. Their work tidying and weeding at the benches on the Promenade demonstrates how easy and quick it is to make a vast improvement to an area. I wish them well with their efforts in the future and hope to be able to join in myself at some point.”