Council defends its beaches cleaning after plastics blast

A local resident claims Wyre Council are more interested in fining dog walkers than dealing with plastic and other rubbish on the beach.

That's the view of Anchorsholme resident Andy Sharrocks - who says the situation is made worse by laying off staff and a refuse to deal with dangerous waste being washed up on the coastline.

The authority says they actually employ more cleaning staff than in previous years, and  Keep Britain Tidy’s Seaside Awards, given to beaches at Cleveleys, Rossall and Fleetwood last month, prove that standards there are better than ever.

However, Mr Sharrocks, who lives in Anchorsholme, also says Wyre is putting too much emphasis on getting enforcement officers to fine dog walkers, rather than tackle the more pressing environmental issue of rubbish on beaches.

He said: ''Dedicated litter clearers have been laid off due to cut backs but Enforcement Officers have been put in place to hand out fines to people who walk their dogs off the lead on the deserted promenade.

''Since February I have daily cleared up to five bags of rubbish from Cleveleys beach and toward Rossall, consisting mainly of plastic.

''The volume of plastic concerned me so much that I posted photos on Facebook to encourage people to pick it up too.

''The waste is obviously coming in from ships, but it lands on Wyre Council’s seafront.

''Whilst they can implement a dog ban on Fleetwood and Cleveleys beaches and promenades, these enforcement officers will not take the responsibility to clear the rubbish up which accumulates there, including broken glass and nasty spiked fishing tackle which could cut or even maim a child or a dog running on the beach.''

Mr Sharrock says he himself was hit by a fixed penalty notice for walking his dog on a lead at 7.30am, when the beach was deserted, and says the council could try other methods to tackle dog fouling.

But a Wyre spokesman said: ''We employ more members of staff in our street cleansing team now than when we brought the service back in house in 2012.

In addition we now work with the Enforcement Officers who are employed to issue fines to people dropping litter amongst other offences such as dog fouling and having a dog on certain parts of the beach from May to September.

''The dog ban is in place on Jubilee Beach in Cleveleys and Marine Beach in Fleetwood to help keep our bathing waters clean and healthy.

''Dogs are allowed on the promenade as long as they are kept on the lead in the exclusion zone.''

''The Wyre ranger service and waste team both have staff who patrol and clean the Wyre coastline daily.

''We also work with Keep Britain Tidy on the Love my Beach campaign to host regular beach cleans that many volunteers attend each week; Community payback also regularly carry out litter picks in Wyre.''

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