Residents and visitors to Christchurch are being encouraged to get behind a new campaign aimed at improving the environment and economy in the borough.
The Care for Christchurch campaign is being launched by Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce and Christchurch Police. There are five main parts to the campaign: take your litter home; pick up after your dog; report graffiti; report fly-tipping; and shop locally.
Statistics show that it costs £175,000 of council tax payers’ money to deal with litter in Christchurch every year. That’s money that could be used for other services if nobody dropped litter. Much of this cost is down to dealing with litter on major roads where expensive traffic management measures need to be put in place to collect it.
While most people already help by putting their litter in bins, most of that litter does not get recycled. The campaign asks people to take their recyclable litter home and recycle it in their kerbside collection. It also costs a lot of money to continually empty bins – if it didn’t have to be done so often, that would be a saving.
Most dog walkers pick up after their dogs wherever they are but dog fouling is still a problem. Anyone not picking up can face a fixed penalty of £75 or prosecution in the magistrates’ court, which could cost them a fine of up to £1,000. If people see someone habitually letting their dog do its business without picking it up, the campaign asks them to report it.
The Care for Christchurch campaign also covers fly-tipping and graffiti. If anyone sees either of these happening, they should report it so it can be cleared up and the culprits found. There was a spate of graffiti-painting in Christchurch last year and the perpetrators were found and made to clean it up. As part of the campaign, schools are getting involved so that anyone thinking of doing graffiti understands the effects it could have on others.
Cllr Margaret Phipps, Portfolio Holder for the Environment at Christchurch Council and a member of the DWP Joint Committee, said: “Many people are already involved in helping keep their locality clean and we’re very grateful to them. We’re asking more people to ‘adopt a spot’ near them and take responsibility for keeping it clean and tidy. We can help by providing litter-pickers and sacks and arrange for rubbish to be collected after a litter pick.”
One other way the campaign is asking residents to Care for Christchurch is to shop locally. Christchurch has many sole traders who rely on local shoppers to keep their businesses going, particularly in winter months. There are a lot of unique shops here so people can be sure of finding something different by browsing. The new £1 for 2 hours parking rate will allow people to spend more time looking around.
Stephen Bowden, President of Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “For Christchurch to thrive, we all need to do what we can to keep the borough attractive. The Care for Christchurch campaign is exactly what is needed. Keeping the borough clean and tidy makes it a pleasing place to visit and shopping locally provides vital support to our businesses. The Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce is very pleased to support this worthwhile project.”
Anyone wanting to report fly-tipping can do it at www.dorsetforyou.com/flytipping or they can call the Dorset Waste Partnership on 01305 221040. To report dog fouling go to www.dorsetforyou.com/dog-fouling or graffiti go to www.dorsetforyou.com/graffiti or call 01202 495000.