THERE is a particularly nasty problem blighting the North Harbour beaches and promenade.
A large number of irresponsible dog owners bag up their dog’s poo and dump it on the public beaches, at the sides of the promenade, by the Martello Tower and on the Outer Harbour wall.
It is a major and widespread problem. Whilst not condoning bad behaviour it is hardly surprising and does not take a rocket scientist to see why it is happening.
Aside from a single out-of-the way bin at the Pevensey Bay end of the promenade there are simply no bins along this one mile stretch of beach to deposit waste.
Clearly the owners are taking the trouble to carry bags with them and bag the mess up but they do not want to carry it around.
It is patently obvious if there were convenient bins they would use them. There are bins on Pacific Drive but that it is not where most people exercise their dogs.
What is particularly galling is the lack of planning and investment in the infrastructure of service provision in the Harbour and the failure to deliver a sustainable environment.
There is nobody, Eastbourne Borough Council, the Environment Agency (who are responsible for the beaches below the high water mark) or the management of Sovereign Harbour that is providing a litter picking service.
This is a perfect storm for rubbish - no bins and no litter picking. If it wasn’t for a few residents like myself who pick up rubbish, the beaches would be a mess but particularly irritating that Eastbourne Borough Council who charge council tax or the management of Sovereign Harbour who receive a marina charge from residents do not provide a litter picking service.
Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) will say they have not adopted responsibility for beach cleaning in this part of town although they are quite happy to tax North Harbour residents to keep town centre beaches clean for the benefit of others.
What happens in the North Harbour would not be tolerated in town. EBC’s response has been to try to identify and fine offenders and adopt a well intentioned but doomed to fail campaign with a leaflet that there is no such thing as a “dog poo fairy,” to pick up the dumped bags.
The campaign has been totally ineffectual in changing irresponsible dog owners’ behaviour and completely misses the point - to achieve a sustainable and clean environment litter on the ground has to be picked up.