I AM writing in response to the letters ‘Cliff Rubbish’ and ‘We’re Third World’ (Daily Echo, February 15) which seem to denigrate the huge efforts of the council to keep Bournemouth clean and tidy.

Bournemouth is justifiably proud of its natural and built environment and a huge effort goes into ensuring that our streets and open spaces remain as clean and litter-free as possible.

Council staff work tirelessly in all weathers to combat the increasing amount of litter dumped on our streets, parks and beaches - a very fast growing trend recognised and highlighted nationally by Keep Britain Tidy.

Sadly, in Britain, it seems to have become more socially acceptable by some to drop litter and to assume others will clean up after them, seven days a week.

At the same time, patterns of social behaviour have changed, for example in smoking, fast-food and drinking. Like all local authorities, Bournemouth is under ever greater financial pressures and new forms of intervention are required as there is a real danger that the frequency of littering will increase.

Locally, in mitigating this national trend, we have some brilliant volunteers such as the Bournemouth Litter Squad and Dorset Devils who play a crucial part by undertaking regular litter picking and beach clean-up activities, both of which assist and enhance the council’s efforts.

In Bournemouth the councillors and council officers are all committed to keeping front line services such as street cleaning at the highest standard possible.

We all know how important these services are to residents but the fact is that after providing adult social care and children’s services, only 25 per cent of the council’s resources remain to pay for all the other services that residents rightly expect to be provided.

We would all like to be able to do more about littering but need to try to strike the right balance between education and enforcement, although it can often become a thankless task as cleansing and litter picking never ends.

However, the priority of this important service is one that residents can remain sure will continue even in these times of public service austerity.


Service director for environment at Bournemouth council, Town Hall

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