Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Morning After

At the end of last week, I mentioned the recent anti-social behaviour problems we have been having in Westgate and the planned Police initiative to deal with it.

On yet another Mediterranean like day, I've been wandering about my ward with a camera and reached several conclusions:

Firstly, with the seafront busy and the traders enjoying a welcome up-turn in business, it's clear that we are into an unusual post-season litter problem. During the summer, the cleaning teams work vigorously all day to keep the beaches spotless and this year the results have been excellent. However, we are now in late September and enjoying an Indian summer and visitors are visibly free with their rubbish along the promenade and the beach; among them abandoned BBQ's, lager cans and polystyrene fast food containers from the kebab shop in town.

In the town itself, the usual congregation spot for the teenagers is a real mess, as is the station and you can see this from my photos. I will have it cleaned, I hope, by early Monday morning but it illustrates the extended nature of the anti-social problem that these groups of feckless teenagers are leaving behind them. The inside of the station and the tracks are even worse and I don't think the areas between the live rails can be cleaned without a considerable Health & Safety effort.

This whole issue of litter and the costs of removing it represents a significant resource challenge in particular spots across the island, The public want to see clean streets, as do I but we have a sizeable hard-core of offenders who either dump their black sacks on the streets at all times of the day or night, play football with the same 'for a laugh',simply can't be bothered to use a nearby waste bin or refuse to pick-up after their dogs.

Yesterday, as I was orbiting over Westgate and Margate, the scene below was quite stunning. From 1,500 feet you can't see the empty cans of lager or the torn bin-bags. Thanet, in weather like today, looks quite beautiful with sharp contrasts between the land, the beaches and a clear green sea; a Mediterranean scene at its finest. We are very lucky indeed to be living in such a lovely part of Britain and it's a great shame, that a very few people can have such a disproportionate impact on our quality of life and our surroundings.

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