Wednesday 6th September 2017
People are going to be fined for litter dropping and dog fouling, as part of a new bid to clean up Chichester.
Councillors met on Tuesday morning to discuss proposals to tackle mess in the area after new research revealed the true scale of the problem.
The local authority currently spends £1 million a year on cleaning the district, and £220,000 of that is just on the city centre.
Councillor Roger Barrow decided to look into where the money was going after complaints from the public about the levels of litter.
He said: “My mail box now is becoming full of people complaining about dog fouling and about litter and it is clearing a subject that our residents are passionate about because they’re passionate about the beauty of our district.
“These people who litter are destroying our district and we have to put a stop to it.”
In just one day on June 21st, a staggering 1,478 pieces of litter were picked up in West and South Street.
Items dropped included bottles, napkins, receipts food wrappers, and 1,221 cigarette butts.
“As you can see it’s far more serious than what many people realise”, added Councillor Barrow.
“It’s council tax money that we could be using for really, really important services.”
The district also has a major problem with flytipping, with almost a thousand cases in the last year…Chilgrove lay-by,A259 lay-by at Colworth,Newpound, at Hughes Hill.
Two year trial
A five-part action plan has been approved by the district council, which will begin in October.
It will run for two years and cost £86,000 from council reserves.
The first phase will be ‘Raising Awareness’, with a particular focus on ‘major issue on the A27’.
The council collected 665 bags of litter from its stretch of road, including 60 tonnes of waste or debris, and 15 small van loads of car parts.
It will also work in partnership with retailers of trade tools and hardware, and campaign for properly sheeted commercial vehicles.
Advertisements will also appear in public areas and on social media to ‘prick the public conscience’.
The second phase will involve litter enforcement officers, directly employed by East Hampshire District Council, monitoring the city, towns, villages, parks and the seafront.
They’ll hand out fixed penalty notices of up to £80 for litter droppers and up to £100 for dog fouling.
“This is something we haven’t done before in Chichester and I think there has been a degree of nervousness because some areas have done it and got themselves in trouble by having rather confrontational officers in the job”, added Councillor Barrows.
“We’re going to be using a district council company so they understand the importance of a non-confrontational approach to people.
“They are not incentive based like some companies around the country are, so they’re chasing an incentive with every ticket that they issue.”
Remote cameras are being used in flytipping hot spots to catch offenders as part of a West Sussex Partnership project to crack down on offenders.
The council has also pledged to continue to prosecute anyone caught.
The final three stages will be ‘Community Involvement’ to encourage residents to get on-board with the plan, internal collaboration to make sure departments are working efficiently together, and ‘Review Infrastructure’ to make sure things like bins and street cleaning schedules are up to scratch.