Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Donaghadee - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Martin calls for personal responsibility when enjoying our beaches”

Saturday 6th July 2013

Over the weekend the warm weather brought many people out to enjoy our parks and beaches in North Down – unfortunately a very small minority of these folk have demonstrated no respect for our environment or for other people – this was especially apparent at Ballyholme Beach.

Over the weekend the warm weather brought many people out to enjoy our parks and beaches in North Down – unfortunately a very small minority of these folk have demonstrated no respect for our environment or for other people – this was especially apparent at Ballyholme Beach. 

By Saturday and Sunday night there were beer cans, bottles and food wrapping strewn all across the beach. In some cases bottles had been broken and this poses an added danger to families coming down to enjoy the beach. Whilst I was picking some of the litter up several constituents came over for a chat and also were appalled at thoughtlessness of a small minority and simply said this would not have happened 40 years ago. We must encourage some level of personal responsibility for our own environment and when coming down to the beach for a picnic people need to see a large bag as essential kit. 

However the Council must also do more to ensure there is adequate provision of rubbish disposal as clearly the bins at the beach were quite simply overwhelmed by the amount of rubbish that folk did tidy up but had no where to place it. One or two ‘wheelie bins’ would be my preferred answer for the summer weekends but in the past these have either been stolen or even set on fire when this provision has been made for people. I will also be immediately asking Officers to ensure that during good weather weekends we have litter wardens patrolling our beaches and issuing fixed penalty fines for anyone leaving litter. I will also be asking for a report at the end of the summer as to how many people on the beaches received fixed penalties for littering. 

This in effect, is not really about litter, but about respect. The beaches of North Down are for everyone to enjoy and we welcome tourists and locals, but not if they plan to destroy our environment or to spoil other folks enjoyment. People who come to our beaches and scatter waste and litter in their wake clearly have little regard for our environment or other people

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