Published: 00:00, 01 April 2014
| Updated: 08:40, 01 April 2014
Media celebrity and journalist Janet Street-Porter has criticised the state of beaches on the approaches to Margate town.
Shortly before 2.30pm on Saturday she posted this comment to her followers on social networking internet site Twitter : “Lovely beach walk into Margate blighted by litter and dog poo – need a hit squad to clean it up! (@The_Real_JSP)”
Her comment struck a nerve with Thanet council cabinet member for community services Cllr Iris Johnson who is now calling for “a substantial fine penalty for irresponsible dog owners who let their animals make a mess in our parks, proms, streets and beaches – and then do nothing about cleaning up afterwards”.
She thanked Ms Street-Porter for her observation and said: “She is right. From an environmental and tourism viewpoint cleaning up dog mess and keeping our town, proms and beaches clear from rubbish and litter are the top priority – and we work extremely hard as a council to ensure everything is done to keep our district clean and healthy.”
Cllr Johnson said she had received other reports from concerned residents about the state of the area. She said: “It seems in the last week or so the situation had been poor – the gulls are ripping open refuse sacks and bags and scavenging through them discarding litter and rubbish all over the place. This is a problem right across the island and is something we are very aware of – and we are taking action. Every time we have neighbourhood engagement meetings the litter and dog mess problems are among the main topics for discussion.”
The council uses cleaning machines to mop up dog mess and the area has two dog wardens as well. Cllr Johnson added: “There is no excuse for people to not clean up after their dog – there are plenty of special bins around the island and if they do not want to put their bag in them, then they should act responsibly and take it home. Leaving it for people to walk on is not an option.
“I am always grateful to people who report back to the council, whether their observations are good or bad – the public are the eyes and ears of our service.”
Council officers and Cllr Johnson travelled along the coastline in October identifying shelters and loos that are to be upgraded.
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