Calls to deter litterers after Southsea Common transformed into 'massive tip'

A RESIDENT has called for more action to deter litterers who transform Southsea Common into a ‘massive tip’ - with him saying the coastal city image is ruined.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 1:56 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 9:53 am

Kevin Burgess, 46, says an assortment of litter is often left dumped across the grass especially after warm weekends when people have been basking in the sun at the popular location.

But the North End resident, who travels to Southsea at 6am most mornings to jog, says there should be wardens handing out fines with analytics data deployed to establish hotspots and times of littering.

The ongoing problem has sparked anger from locals – with one recently savaging the ‘younger generation’ in a video who ‘just walk away’ after leaving rubbish.

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Southsea Common rubbish. Picture: Kevin Burgess.

Kevin said: ‘As you come past Clarence Pier and onto the seafront it is a stunning view especially early in the morning when it is serene.

‘But then you see rubbish everywhere. It is soul destroying to see the Common turned into a massive tip.

‘You can see where people have been congregating the previous evening. It is crazy how much litter there is.

‘The utopia view of the Common and the image of a beautiful coastal city is ruined.’

Portsmouth City Council collects rubbish from the site but Kevin argued that more could be done to curb the littering.

‘When you park anywhere around the Common there are wardens out patrolling who fine you immediately if you overstay, so why can’t they do the same when people dump rubbish?’ he said.

‘If there are no consequences people don’t care. You could use analytics to see where and what time people are leaving rubbish and find out who the repeat offenders are.

‘There needs to be a stronger deterrent. There should be more bins and signs warning people of fines.’

But the council’s deputy leader, councillor Steve Pitt, said: ‘We carry out daily patrols along the seafront, with officers on the lookout for littering and other offences.

‘They also hand out bin bags and point people to the nearest bins. They encourage people to take their rubbish home if possible.

‘Littering is illegal throughout the city and offenders can be issued with a penalty notice of at least £75, which if not paid is followed up by court action.

‘Officers have to actually witness someone in the act of littering. We've issued 50 penalty notices across the city so far this year.

‘The wardens had to focus on other elements of community safety during lockdown but are now returning to their normal level of activity.’

The councillor added: ‘We collate information about litter hotspots and make sure bins and enforcement activity are targeted at those areas.

‘The best way to keep the Common litter-free is for residents and visitors to behave responsibly. Most people do, but we regularly try to reach the minority with public reminders about taking rubbish home and using bins.’

To report littering contact council wardens on [email protected] or (023) 9284 1105.

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