Organiser of big litter-pick criticises council

People who took part in last year's clean-up in Gosport
People who took part in last year's clean-up in Gosport
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  • Organiser of the Round the Harbour Clean-Up has criticised the council for its lack of action
  • Graham Smith has only been able to set up one litter pick in Portsmouth
  • Gosport and Fareham have 15 between them
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THE co-ordinator of Round the Harbour Clean Up has been left disappointed with Portsmouth City Council after it ‘failed to get behind’ his community-led initiative.

Graham Smith has organised 16 simultaneous litter-picks due to take place at 10am on Saturday – but only one has been arranged in Portsmouth.

They were copied into the information about the event but we got no response

Graham Smith

‘I have given up with the city council,’ said Mr Smith. ‘It was copied into the information about the event but we got no response.’

‘It told us we needed to fill in a form and get insurance policy.

‘It has not been facilitating this initiative for two months now.

‘People haven’t got the money to pay for this insurance policy.

‘The council has a statute of responsibility to keep the harbour clean and we are trying to help them out.

‘We’re now in the ridiculous situation where we may have to turn people away from volunteering or direct them on to the ferry to Gosport to help there.

‘I’m aware that Portsmouth Together and others are trying to encourage this type of community action but Portsmouth City Council needs to review its own procedures urgently as currently it is putting volunteers off.’

Councillor Rob New, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: ‘The council welcomes these events but has not had any contact directly from Mr Smith.

‘The council runs its own litter-picking organisations and we would welcome Mr Smith to marry up with these to increase the amount of work being done.’

The Round the Harbour Clean Up is trying to get the message across about how damaging it is to marine life when litter is thrown in the sea.

‘We are looking to raise awareness,’ said Mr Smith. ‘At this time of year we want to stop people leaving all their rubbish on the beach after they leave.’

The co-ordinator has organised 11 of the clean-ups in Gosport with a further four in Fareham.

‘We want to spread this initiative as far as possible,’ he added. ‘The more people we get involved, the bigger the impact on the environment. We have been doing this for five years in Gosport now and they are very supportive towards us. Fareham are also pretty proactive.’

Volunteers from the Green Party, community groups, disability charities and McDonald’s are also organising events across Gosport and Fareham.

The Portsmouth litter-pick will take place at The Hard and has been organised by South-West trains.

Where to get involved

All events start at 10am

- Haslar Marina, Gosport – meet at Walpole Park children’s play area

- Forton Creek, Gosport

- Hill Head, Lee-on-the-Solent – meet at Hill Head Sailing Club

- Stokes Bay, Alverstoke – meet at Splash Pool

- Gosport Park / Stoke Lake – meet at Gosport & Fareham Rugby Club

- Walpole Park / Haslar Lake – meet at children’s play area

- Walpole Creek – meet at the playground

- Alver Bridge –meet at rear of Old Road

- Lee-on-the-Solent – meet at Olympia Amusements

- Gosport Ferry

- Lower Quay, Fareham

WicorMarine Yacht Haven – meet at Cams Mill, Fareham

- Quay Lane, Elson

- The Hard, Portsmouth – meet at entrance to Historic Dockyard.

- Cams Mill

- North side of the Millennium Bridge, Gosport