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Call by Mary Margery to tackle problem of people urinating on Dover beach

By Sam Lennon

A woman says she has seen people urinating and defecating on Dover beach and in the town itself.

Now Mary Margery hopes more public toilets would help solve the problem.

She said: "As I have walked through the town, at 8am to 10am, I have seen adults defecating and urinating in doorways , Maison Dieu and Charlton Green and public spaces.

Dover Beach.
Dover Beach.

"When I have pointed out where there are facilities I have been told to **** off or other phrase with various expletives.

"Similarly I have seen adult males and females using the beach for defecating or urinating - I have told them that there is a toilet at Pebbles Kiosk , however this is only available for short periods and costs 20p.

"The reply to that is 'I’m not spending f******* 20p on a f******* s***'."

She is now calling for Dover's mayor-elect Sue Jones, who takes office after the mayor making on May 24, to commit to re-opening public toilets.

Ms Margery also wants for the only seafront toilet, at the Premier Inn end, to be opened all day.

She said: "This would provide a service for residents and visitors to Dover.

"After all wasn’t it human effluent on the streets that caused the black plague centuries ago?"

Litter on Dover Beach last month. Picture: Peter Sherred.
Litter on Dover Beach last month. Picture: Peter Sherred.

Ms Margery was responding to a letter to our sister paper, the Mercury, published last week, by anti-litter volunteer Paul Pearson.

Mr Pearson, of Branch Street, Dover, wrote: "I watch people sitting on parked cars, open the door or window and empty their ashtray or dump bags or dump bags of rubbish in the street for others to clean up.

"Any old fridge, washing machine, mattresses or old bits of furniture are simply taken round the corner and dumped, it becomes someone else's problem then.

"Use any street corner as a public toilet, piles of human excrement and vomit are left in doorways.

"As someone to pick up their rubbish and take it home and you get a right mouthful."

He and his wife Augusta, and other volunteers, have regularly picked up bagfuls of rubbish in the Bridge Street area of Dover, near his home.

Mr Pearson's last comment in his letter was: "The sad conclusion appears to be that Dover people take comfort from the sight and smell of rubbish that is littering the streets."

Last weekend our reporter visited Calais and found the city centre completely clean of litter, like on previous visits. The streets were also clean in the walk back to the ferry terminal.

Place D'Armes, Calais. This picture was taken in October but the city was still found to be spotless last weekend.
Place D'Armes, Calais. This picture was taken in October but the city was still found to be spotless last weekend.
Somebody doesn't love Dover. Litter at Market Square.next to property taken over by the regeneration company LoveDover.
Somebody doesn't love Dover. Litter at Market Square.next to property taken over by the regeneration company LoveDover.
Litter at Biggin Street, Dover.
Litter at Biggin Street, Dover.

On Monday evening our reporter checked Dover's Stembrook car park, Market Square and Biggin Street/Cannon Street precinct and found several small pockets of litter.

Peter Sherred, of the Rotary Club of Dover, regularly carries out litter and rubbish clearances with fellow members.

Sackfuls of rubbish have been filled from areas like the grounds of St Mary's Primary School in Dover.

He told the Mercury this week: "Last month we cleared Hangman's Lane in Guston and left it spotless.

"The very next day I found 17 bags of rubbish dumped there.

"Someone said to me why do you bother cleaning it, it will only get dirty again.

"If you go over to the Continent, Calais or Belgium for example, you will find the streets spotless. It is like we have war against litter in our country.

"I think it is a cultural thing over here in which people buy thinks like takeaways, finish them and dump the packaging there and then."

A spokesman for Dover Town Council said: “There are plenty of toilets available for public use throughout the town – ourselves and both the district and county councils provide facilities. Unfortunately, a small minority chose not to use them.

"It is the same with litter bins. Such behaviour is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the vast majority who act responsibly.”

Rubbish recently found in the Guston area. Picture: Peter Sherred.
Rubbish recently found in the Guston area. Picture: Peter Sherred.

Dover District Council has committed to building a new toilet block at Maison Dieu Gardens, in place of the Biggin Hall ones, which are in poor condition, just a few hundred yards away.

Meanwhile a spokesman said: “We continue to work with partners to keep the district a safe place to live, work and visit. DDC maintains public toilets in Stembrook Car Park in Dover Town Centre. DDC has also approved a planning application from Dover Community Association for a detached single storey community building incorporating public toilets in Maison Dieu Gardens,

“People urinating or defecating in public places is not a matter for DDC’s environmental crime team, and is not covered by the same legislation as littering. Our community safety team continues to work closely with the Police around issues of public safety, and if people have concerns about specific incidents of urinating/defecating in public, they can contact the Police on 101 or email details to csu@dover.gov.uk.”

Sergeant Ben Norbury of Dover Community Safety Unit said: ‘Through the Community Safety Partnership, we liaise closely with Dover District Council to support their work against littering, by tackling associated reports of anti-social behaviour and crime where concerns have been reported. By working with the council and other partner agencies, we ensure Dover remains a safe place to live, work and socialise.

‘If people see any incidents of anti-social behaviour, we ask that they report it to us via 101 or online so appropriate action can be taken.’

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