SALE Wombles has been quick to distance itself from the political row that erupted after Trafford Council decided to scrap its environmental enforcement team.

The team worked with other agencies to combat everything from littering to dog fouling.

But Sale Wombles chairman William Jones said the litter picking group is a strictly non-political organisation and did not want its used in the debate between Labour and the Tories over the controversial decision.

He said: “It doesn’t help in groups like this - it frightens people away. We don’t want to be used in political game playing.

"We are concerned it’s a radical step to abolish the whole environmental enforcement team. However, at least they have an alternative plan in place which is actually to have other council staff issue notices based on the information they get from the volunteers they want to help them.”

He added that the council’s plan 'needs a lot of nurturing'. William said Sale Wombles was set up to keep the town 'clean and tidy' and said since October 2012 more than 80 volunteers from the group have filled 180 bags of rubbish as a result of ‘litter picks’ in the area.

He said: “We just want to keep Sale clean and tidy and we’ve got various ideas going forward. We want to start looking at graffitti and we also want to help people to become educated about dog fouling. We want to work with Trafford schools and that’s something we’re looking at in the New Year.”

* Sale Wombles will be joining forces with Friends of Sale Waterpark group on January 11 for a Mega Litter Pick. The meeting point is Sale Water Park car park, by the ARC cafe at 9.30am, for a 10am start.