Angler's anger at litter eyesore

Eastney Beach and Southsea esplanade

Pair of Portsmouth beaches hailed ‘excellent’ by inspectors

KEEN angler Alf Horne surveys the rubbish that has built up at a lake no-one will take responsibility for clearing.

Fountain Lake, next to the entrance of Whale Island, Stamshaw, is covered with debris - but Alf's pleas to have it cleaned up have fallen on deaf ears.

The 81-year-old president of the Fountain Lake Angling Club has spent almost 700 on skip hire and man hire every year for six years to clear the lake.

But he is fed up of taking responsibility for someone else's rubbish.

He said: 'Over the years my club has cleared the lake up every time at great cost to ourselves.

'The rubbish that comes here is not of the club's making. It is not an easy job to clear and can take up to three days. The position we are in is at the dead end of the road so all of the litter is washed up here. We should have some help from someone.'

Mr Horne, of Foster Road, Landport, has contacted Portsmouth City Council and asked for help in clearing the lake - but to no avail.

The city council says it is not its responsibility.

Paul Hunt, head of environment and public protection, said: 'The water in question is a tidal channel, which runs between Whale Island and Portsea Island. 'Unfortunately, litter and debris does gather in areas like these, but it's not the council's responsibility to keep the area below the high water mark clean.'

Mr Horne has also contacted Rupert Taylor, the Queen's Harbour Master, who cleared some polystyrene and concrete blocks from the lake last week, but not the litter.

A statement from the Queen's Harbour Master, said: 'The Queen's Harbour Master is responsible for the security and safety of the harbour and would therefore remove any hazard which posed a danger to navigation. Unfortunately his resources or legal responsibilities do not extend to clearing litter.'

Now Mr Horne is at a loss about what can be done, and believes that someone should help to clear litter that has not come from the angling club.

He added: 'It is deplorable. 'Stuff accumulates and it is an eyesore. It is not very nice. It is a mooring area for our boats and it looks terrible. I just want someone to contribute something.

'We have a lovely club and I enjoy what I do, but the downside is that all the rubbish from other people becomes our problem.

'The council clear litter left by travellers on sites, which costs a lot, but wont help with this.

'I have contacted environmental health and said I will pay for a skip if they can offer some staff to help clear the lake, but they have said it isn't their problem. 'I don't know what more I can do. We are supposed to care for our environment.'