I have read the letter from the environmental services team at East Hampshire District Council that appeared in the paper on May 4 (re-printed at the foot of this article).
It is good EHDC recognise there is a problem with littering across the area and they are doing something about it, but I hope they are absolutely determined to stamp it out completely and forever.
It will take a bit of ruthlessness to do it, and I hate to say so, but they are dealing with the national mindset; apathy.
As EHDC say, prevention is better than cure. So I urge them to progress with education and awareness and not be afraid to bring this message to all sections of our society, combined with very regular cleaning and sweeping of our streets and roadsides.
Now, the problem of the A3 dual carriageway. The A3 roundabout with the A272 is part of our national disgrace of roadside litter and rubbish; much of it takeaway food wrappers, cans and paper cups.
On a drive around recently, I see there is also much litter and rubbish on the northern A3 slip roads to and from Petersfield, near to Steep.
I, myself, have picked about 11 bags of rubbish from the A3 / A272 roundabout over the past two months and nine of those were from the south slip road alone.
It was more of a dump rather than a few pieces of litter. Faded labels on cans and cartons showed much of it had been there for some time.
So I must ask why this rubbish was allowed to remain there for a such a long time? Whoever is responsible for this area and, indeed, for the wider A3 road network, is obviously not doing their job.
I have to ask the question; who is responsible for clearing rubbish from the A3 roadsides and its slip roads? Is this work supposed to be done directly by council employees or do EHDC have an outside contractor to do this?
Either way, the job is not being done. Regular litter picking along our roadsides should be just that: regular, every week.
To leave the rubbish festering there in full view of citizens and tourists alike is just delinquency, a national disgrace.
The summer foliage will obscure some of it for a while, but all will be back in its full embarrassing ugliness in the autumn.
EHDC, please do not be complacent about this during the summer months.
I have to ask also if our local authority is up to the job of keeping our roadsides clear of litter.
If they farm out this work to the private sector, is the authority capable of negotiating a good contract, in so far as there should be no excuses from the private company that they can’t or won’t do parts of the specified work.
Is a company employed by EHDC to keep our part of the A3 and its slip roads clear of rubbish? If so, it has not been doing that part of the job. Perhaps EHDC could clarify this.
Remember, taxpayers’ money – our money – is what pays for our local and national services, and as far as keeping our roadsides clear of rubbish is concerned, taxpayers are not getting what they pay for. Moreover, this a matter of local and national pride.
I do hope to see big improvements in the coming months.
By Glenn McLernon
The below letter was originally printed in the Herald and Post on May 4
We read with interest the letters on litter in this paper and would like to let the readers know what East Hampshire District Council has been doing to address this problem.
First of all we would agree with the general principles of the correspondents, that litter is a blight on our lovely district and that litter louts should face stiff penalties.
That’s why for the past two months the council has pursued a Spring Clean Campaign which has seen our teams sweeping roads, cutting verges and clearing litter around the district.
Recently, the focus has been on Alton, Clanfield and Lindford, but they covered the whole of the district by the end of April.
Once we have completed our spring clean, we will work to make sure this standard is maintained and the district is kept looking great.
Litter left unchecked can degrade a community and increase the likelihood of more serious crimes in the future. It’s also bad for the environment and local wildlife.
That’s why we introduced a litter enforcement service, to change people’s behaviour, clean up our environment and improve our communities.
Littering is a criminal offence and offenders can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80 or a fine of up to £2,500 together with a criminal record.
In the past year, ending on March 31, 2023, the council’s zero-tolerance litter enforcement team issued 160 £80 Fixed Penalty Notices. These were issued across the district and mostly in our major town centres.
However, our patrols do not focus solely on populated areas as some of the district’s worst litter hot-spots are in remote or rural areas.
In March we put extra resources into our litter enforcement team as part of our Spring Clean, concentrating on just these remote areas.
The letters also refer to the willing volunteers who give up their time to collect litter. Everyone who lives and works in East Hampshire should be enormously grateful for your dedication and effort.
At EHDC we support community litter picks by supplying bags and litter-picking tools and arranging for the disposal of collected rubbish. We thank all the community litter teams for their incredible efforts.
Our last point is an appeal. Some litter is inevitable but we know the quickest way to reduce litter is by prevention, rather than collection. Please take care of your district and dispose of your litter responsibly.
If you notice an overflowing litter bin, or if you know of a problem area for litter, you can report it at [email protected]
By The Environmental Services Team
East Hampshire District Council