New measures to ensure the Island is looking at its best over the peak summer holiday season have been announced by the Isle of Wight Council.
Extra staff are also being recruited to keep parks, public open spaces and beaches clean and safe, while promoting local amenities and businesses and supporting a safer community and cleaner environment.
Acting as eyes and ears on the ground, their duties will include reporting littering, fly tipping, graffiti, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour, so that they can be tackled swiftly.
With a staycation boom expected this summer, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet lead for the environment, said it was more important than ever that the Island was looking its best.
He said: “As lockdown eases over the coming days, we want the Island to bounce back as we reopen and welcome visitors back so our businesses, that rely heavily on tourism, can thrive and get the economy moving.
“We are determined to do everything we can to ensure our beaches and esplanades look inviting to our visitors and residents alike, while working proactively with our partners to coordinate and strengthen plans to keep everyone safe.”
The campaign has been made possible thanks to support from the government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund’.
Around £9,000 will be used to ‘top-up’ services provided by town and parish councils to ensure litter bins are emptied at least three times a day at Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde. Bins covered under the Highways PFI in Newport, Ryde, Cowes, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor will also be emptied more frequently.
A further £6,600 will be used to introduce more daily beach cleans, with Ryde West, Lake, East Cowes, Springvale, Seaview and Freshwater being added to the list.
One of the most significant measures costing around £42,900 is the recruitment of nine public realm assistants who will work alongside and support town and parish councils, businesses and communities.
Working as part of the council’s environment officer team, their duties will include:
• monitoring litter bin emptying on beaches and esplanades with the ability to request additional collections;
• monitoring litter on beaches and arranging additional cleans where necessary;
• working with environment staff to ensure enforcement of dogs on beaches orders and the new beach marker buoys;
• providing safety checks of all beach safety equipment;
• inspecting seafront toilets and reporting any issues.
To report litter, overflowing bins, dog mess or fly-tipping on council land, including beaches, email waste services on [email protected] or complete the form at: https://www.iow.gov.uk/Residents/Environment-Planning-and-Waste/Waste-and-Recycling/Hazardous-Waste-and-Emergencies/Fly-Tip-CrimeNotToCare
If the issue relates to litter on the highway, verge or pavement, contact island Roads via www.fixmystreet.com or call the hub on (01983) 822440.
Councillor Bacon added: “This last year has been tremendously challenging for everyone and we’re pulling out all the stops to make 2021 the year of opportunity with measures to support a safe and successful reopening of our seaside resorts this summer.
“We can all support our beautiful island and protect our unique biosphere environment by making sure litter goes into bins provided or is taken home when they are full.”