A new strategy is being developed to tackle the "persistent problem" of abandoned shopping trolleys littered around Romford.

On a walk around Romford, prospective Labour candidate for Romford Town ward Jane Keane found 14 trolleys from a range of supermarkets had been left abandoned.

The 56-year-old used the TrolleyWise app to report every trolley she encountered.

She said: “Given that the problem is persistent, more needs to be done by the retailers to prevent trollies from leaving the car parks or their premises, by those who manage the built environment, and by residents who should demand better.”

Romford Business Improvement District (BID) director Julie Frost agreed there needs to be a "far more coordinated approach".

“This practice not only creates a poor impression of the town centre, but it also imposes a significant cost on many of our retailers who are forced to purchase replacement trollies," she said.

Jane, who has written to the retailers to highlight the “nuisance”, described George Street as a "trolley park” with eight trolleys dumped there.

Cllr Viddy Persaud, Havering Council's cabinet member for public protection and safety, said the authority is "passionate about ensuring our town centres are clean, safe and enjoyable places", working with TrolleyWise, local supermarkets, businesses and landowners.

She said: "However, it’s up to everyone to play their part. We need local businesses to be responsible and also residents to be our eyes and ears and report these issues to us.”

Romford Recorder: The abandoned trolley in George Street.The abandoned trolley in George Street. (Image: Jane Keane)

Jane said: “The public and councillors would not accept littering by a well-known takeaway restaurant which now sends operatives out to clear up after customers, so why should naughty food stores get away with not rounding up their trollies on a regular basis?”

Romford BID and local authority representatives have met to discuss the development of a "new strategy to address this problem”, Julie said.

She said: “Romford BID agreed to take on the responsibility for developing an alternative approach which seeks to incentivise a more active approach by retailers in trolley control and retrieval.

“This project is still being worked up, but it is hoped that we will be in a position to launch a pilot scheme over the coming months.”

Asda, Sainsbury’s and M&S were approached for comment but did not respond at the time of writing this article.

Tesco has confirmed it does not have trolleys at either of its express stores in Romford.