“Enough is enough” — That’s the message from the Isle of Wight Council as plans for a no-nonsense approach to littering and fly-tipping start to take shape.
In the week the authority unveiled a summer crackdown on littering, decisive action has been promised to combat the growing problem of littering which is blighting our towns, villages and countryside.
Although fly-tipping has not seen a significant increase in recent years, the council said any fly tip was one too many.
Leading the charge for change is the Cabinet member for the environment and waste, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, who last week chaired the first meeting of a cross-party task and finish group formed to tackle the unsightly menace.
He said the aim of the group was clear — to produce a full action plan to deliver meaningful improvement and a change in behaviours to reduce littering and tackle wider waste and fly tip issues which concern so many Island communities.
“The island is a special and unique place blessed with areas of outstanding natural beauty, granted UNESCO Biosphere Status and numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest, conservation areas, historic towns, and unique and protected wildlife,” said Councillor Bacon.
“As we can see, the Island is being polluted by a minority of individuals who do not have sufficient care for the Island.
“The amount of littering and fly tips, including litter dropped from cars in the countryside, along our coastline, in our town centres and in our carparks, is simply unacceptable.
“Litter and fly-tipping is environmental vandalism. It blights neighbourhoods and the countryside, is a threat to local wildlife and livestock, is a source of pollution and a danger to public health.
“We need a proactive and coordinated approach to ensure our Island is kept clean, and wherever possible those who litter and those who fly tip are identified and suitable action is taken against them.
Over the coming months, the group of 11 councillors, supported by senior managers from the neighbourhoods team, will develop a rolling action plan to reduce fly-tipping and littering through community engagement, education, innovation and a review of enforcement.
In the meantime, the council is taking steps to help ensure the Island is looking at its best during the peak holiday season by launching a summer litter prevention campaign to highlight how we can all, in our own small way, help to keep our beautiful Island tidy.
Councillor Bacon added: “We’ve made our position clear on this matter. Enough is enough. We simply won’t tolerate fly-tipping and littering on the Island and our new task and finish group will be looking at how we can reduce instances of both.
“I see this as a positive step in restoring pride in the community and educating people to learn the rules — from the smaller issues of dropping litter to the bigger problem of fly tipping. Together, let’s keep our beautiful Island tidy.”
The task and finish group is due to bring forward a detailed report later in the year.