Residents told to clean up their act in Havant Park

TIDY UP Ken Smith next to litter left at Havant Park.
TIDY UP Ken Smith next to litter left at Havant Park.

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PARK users have been warned to clean up their act after leaving rubbish strewn across public areas for months.

Councillor Ken Smith, who represents Bedhampton, walks his dog in Havant Park early every morning.

He said he is fed up with finding litter spoiling the park and even found flowers he had planted as mayor two years ago pulled up.

Cllr Smith said: ‘They have knocked bricks out of the walls, they have pulled up the flower beds and it’s disgusting.

‘It’s pure, mindless vandalism.

‘People congregate here at night and have a good time and leave their rubbish here for someone else to clear up in the mornings.

‘It is strewn everywhere and it’s a disgrace.’

He added: ‘Volunteers planted the flowers in the flower bed and my wife and I helped when I was mayor.

‘They have all been pulled up.

‘It’s mindless vandalism.’

Among the takeaway wrappers, drinks cans and other rubbish, Cllr Smith said he had also seen soiled nappies thrown on the grass.

Havant Borough Council has had to send three cleaners, who can take up to two hours each day cleaning up the mess.

Although it is easing now summer is over, Cllr Smith has asked people to take responsibility at the park, which is the home of Havant Cricket Club.

He said: ‘It saddens me very much. It’s anti-social.

‘We have a lovely park and the council works hard to keep it that way.

‘It seems some people take pleasure in destroying it.

‘It’s got worse and worse over the summer.

‘I’ve spoken to the people who have to clean it up and they say it’s the worst summer they have ever had for mess.

‘People need to take responsibility and clean up after themselves.’

Twenty-four fines for dropping litter have been given out by the council across Havant borough so far this year.

As reported, earlier this year the council launched its No Ifs, No Butts campaign to stop smokers dropping cigarette ends on the ground.

Cllr David Collins, who oversees environment in Havant borough, insisted that the council does not have a policy of ‘heavy-handed prosecution’ and preferred to get the message across through education.

Research recently carried out by Keep Britain Tidy highlighted that cigarette litter is now the UK’s biggest litter problem and can be found on almost four-fifths of our streets.

As reported, earlier this year Havant bus station was branded ‘a giant ashtray’ by one resident after a large number of cigarette butts could be seen on the floor.

The council has said the highway area is cleaned by the environmental team at least twice a day, and often more frequently.

Anyone seen dropping butts – or any kind of litter – could be issued a fixed penalty notice for £75.