'Why should taxpayers fork out for constant clean-up?'

A council facing criticism as litter piles up next to overflowing beach-side bins says the responsibility lies with those dumping the rubbish. It comes as fed-up locals say litter louts and rowdy revellers are making living in Whitstable and other Kent coastal towns a “nightmare”.

A lady pushes her pram through the litter and debris discarded in Whitstable photo: Tim Stubbings

Images taken yesterday morning showed the monumental task facing rubbish crews as they started to clean up after visitors from the day before, and just hours after a police dispersal order came into force. Piles of unsightly litter building up along the seafront at West Quay prompted locals to launch a petition calling on Canterbury City Council to take action, and has amassed more than 1,400 signatures.

But the under-fire authority says it is completely wrong to suggest it is not concerned about the enormous amount of litter being left, and says it is taking steps to address it.

A spokesperson said: “We are determined to tackle it with or without a petition. “It goes without saying the responsibility always lies with the lazy and selfish people who leave their rubbish behind – is it that hard to put it in the bin, if that bin is full find another and another or take it home?

“Why should our council taxpayers fork out for the constant clean up?”

“Why should our council taxpayers fork out for the constant clean up?” The authority explained it would have 1,100 litre bins in place next weekend, with two at Keams Yard, one at Hampton and another at Tankerton.

It also responded to calls for larger bins to be put in place, adding “It’s worth saying that several years ago we purchased 15 large roll-top bin shelters and roll-top bins for Whitstable to cope with summer demand

“Fish and chip boxes and bottles don’t work in anything other than a very large bin – and it would have also meant a small bin truck could do a collection. “Immediately upon installation of the bin shelters in Whitstable, a local campaign was started against them and councillors took the view we should remove them all.” It has now asked for the public’s support once they are installed.

Litter left strewn across Whitstable sea front Photo: John Stoddart

The council went on to add it was throwing “every bit of resource” it could muster at tackling the clean-up operation along the whole coast.

It said: “While this weekend’s weather has been rather unpredictable, we have also maximised the number of enforcement officers on duty and worked with our street cleaning and waste contractor Serco to ensure every bit of resource we can muster is thrown at cleaning up along the whole coast. “Long-planned anti-littering signage has been moved forward and will go up along the whole coast as soon as possible. “Finally, we have committed publicly to pulling together a multi-agency coastal management plan and that piece of work will be ready very soon.

“The fantastic weather and the fact many people are furloughed so have started their summer holiday before they normally would means these problems have arrived earlier than normal and seem to be worse although it is hard to tell if we are comparing it to life during the most restrictive part of lockdown where everyone was told to stay at home apart from an hour’s exercise.”

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

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