There is so much to be proud of in this fantastic city.
The summer of top cultural events put Portsmouth firmly in the spotlight.
And, unsurprisingly, we are very quick to declare our pride in our city, in our football team.
But sadly, our city is also becoming known for littered streets, dirty alleys and fly-tipping hot spots.
Take a walk down many main roads through Portsmouth, and you’ll see bits of rubbish strewn about. It’s embarrassing to have to call out those residents who simply treat our streets as one huge refuse bin.
Small bits of litter are one thing – albeit unwelcome. But large-scale fly-tipping is not only anti-social but downright dangerous.
Leaders in our city now fear the latter problem will grow worse after the decision to follow Hampshire’s lead, and make people pay to dispose of DIY waste.
The concern is people will refuse to pay up, and rather try to get away with leaving their waste for free on our streets and in areas we should be taking pride in.
The Port Solent tip will also be closed on Thursdays come January 1 – another headache for people looking to clear out their household waste and other things they don’t need any more.
We do understand the Tory council’s concerns that keeping Portsmouth’s rubbish centre open, while others in the county on the same day are closed, would pile huge pressure on the service. Likewise, not bringing in charges, would attract those from the rest of Hampshire looking to save a few quid when dumping their waste.
But Labour environment spokesman, Cllr Stephen Morgan, is quite right in saying, there needs to be a better strategy in place overall. Just as there would be an explosion of litter were there no council bins around, the more restrictions on waste disposal, the more illegal dumping we will see.
We do not want to go back to the days of being a run-down seaside town. These tip changes need to be monitored carefully, and penalties dealt to anyone caught breaking the law. None of us deserves to live in a fly-tipped mess.