I AM aware that there have been articles and letters recently about the clearing up of dog mess and totally agree that dog owners should act responsibly and clear up after their pet. Do the same people who complain about the dogs take their litter home with them? I am a dog walker and make sure I clear up after the dog (and sometimes what other dogs have done) and at the same time take a bag so as to be able to clear up the litter that we see. You see many signs around the area – dog control orders – but how many do you see about litter, which is a far greater problem? Litter blights our pavements, alleyways, recreational areas and countryside.
Chestfield and Whitstable have their fair share and there are many areas which are particularly bad. The customers of McDonald’s and KFC are big culprits and the discard from those establishments are spread far and wide, but there are others such as Sainsbury’s, B&Q, Tesco, the Rugby Club and those who operate Chestfield station who could do more to help the situation. There are a few residents who seem to care and will pick up other people’s lifter, but most do not. It seems a forlorn policy to try to create a nice vista with plant and flower boxes when the surroundings can be a mess. The main reasons for litter being so prevalent – people who seem incapable of taking any item they have finished with to a suitable place to dispose of it; some children and young people together with a lack of care from parents or the education system, fast food outlets and their packaging; and the bin collection system. Until or unless children are taught to value their surroundings, and others, by their parents and the education system, then the future would appear bleak.
I am sure that when McDonald’s and KFC were proposed many would have feared an increase in antisocial behaviour and the incidence of litter — and they would have been proved right. Surely it was not envisaged, when these establishments first opened that they would be permitted to trade on a 24 hour basis. It would not be unreasonable for these fast food outlets and supermarkets to fund ongoing litter clearing. The bin system is a poor one – when the lid is lifted on the bins any loose paper and cardboard escapes in the wind. Residents could help with this by filling any cardboard boxes in the bin with loose papers they wish to dispose of.
I believe that Chestfield Parish Council wanted lids on the boxes, which would have helped, but the idea was rejected by Canterbury City Council. I think all , residents and businesses, could help with this severe problem, and CCC could play their part. I dread to think what visitors to Whitstable, Chestfield and the surrounding areas think of the state of the verges and hedgerows on the main roads. They are a disgrace. It is time for a spring clean up and a fresh start.
Herne Bay Times, March 18th 2015