Call for crackdown on littering after heatwave

121845_SOUTHSEA_COMMON_28/5/12''Council staff begin the clean-up of Southsea Common. ''Piles of rubbish left on Sousthea Common, Southsea.  ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (121845-547)
121845_SOUTHSEA_COMMON_28/5/12''Council staff begin the clean-up of Southsea Common. ''Piles of rubbish left on Sousthea Common, Southsea. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (121845-547)
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RUBBISH left behind after the weekend’s hot weather has prompted calls for more severe punishments for people who drop litter.

Southsea Common was covered in discarded drinks cans, plastic bags, barbecues and bottles, with many bins full and overflowing.

Problems were also reported in Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent as people took advantage of the sunshine to enjoy the beaches.

Former chairman of the Southsea Association John Ling said: ‘It’s awful.

‘What it really needs is a change in the culture, but that will take a long time.

‘All you can do in the meantime is to have an effective deterrent and fine people who refuse to listen.’

Graham Smith, from the Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction, said: ‘The message we are trying to drive home is to get people who use the beaches to think about what they are doing.

‘The councils do what they can but people need to be aware of the problem and take responsibility.’

Portsmouth City Council’s seafront manager David Evans said 17 truckloads of litter were collected from Southsea Common on Sunday and work continued yesterday to clear the rest of the litter.

He said: ‘We have put out 20 additional large capacity bins and ordered additional bins which will be in place before the summer holidays.

‘Our contractors have also been handing out black bags to people and asking them to bag up their litter. Unfortunately many do not do so.’

Lib Dem cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Eleanor Scott, said: ‘We want the common to be a happy place and we don’t want to be heavy handed with people.

‘But if our current strategy isn’t working then I would definitely support giving persistent offenders fixed penalty notices.

‘People need to get in touch and let us know if that’s something they want.’