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Beach action to tackle waste

DOG POO patrols are planned on beaches in the Bognor Regis area.


The focus on faeces will be part of a programme of measures to improve water quality off the coast.


The enforcement patrols will be joined by dog education patrols as well as extra work to clear the foreshores of litter.


The sites to be covered range from Bognor Aldwick beach to Middleton.


Extra dog waste bins, more litter bins and additional litter and dog fouling signs have also been included in the proposed package of measures.


Work is due to start soon and continue for the rest of this summer as well as summer of 2019 until September.


News of the intended scheme was welcomed by Arun District Council’s environment and leisure working group chairman, Cllr Phil Hitchins (C, Aldwick W).


He said: “This is something I totally agree with. We do need a large number, in my opinion, of rubbish bins in the area. Dog walkers around here are fairly good at clearing up but, if you have got nowhere to put it, then it ends up in people’s hedges.


“We should also have signs telling dog owners to pick up because children play in that area.”


His response came as a report into the intended action was given to the working group by Nat Slade, the group head of technical services at the council.


He said Arun had submitted a bid for funding from Southern Water to pay for the work as part of the company’s commitment to cleaning the bathing waters along the foreshores in the Bognor Regis area. The result of the bid is being decided.


But he said: “We hope to get additional bins and signs this year and start the education and enforcement aspects for the second year. Hopefully, they will make a positive impact on bathing waters in the district, which is important in terms of the image of the district and its beaches to residents and visitors alike.”


Southern Water undertook a customer survey and identified that bathing water quality was a major concern of their customers. It has been given approval by its regulator, Ofwat, to spend £31.5m enhancing bathing waters.


It identified 21 bathing waters which were not expected to meet the ‘excellent’ standard by 2019.


Of those, Middleton was selected for the programme. “Evidence was found through analysis of water samples in 2017 that dog faeces was contributing, albeit to a small extent, to the contamination of bathing water at Middleton,” said Mr Slade.


A survey found Middleton came second to bottom of the seven beaches in the programme in people’s view of its cleanliness.


Two other beaches – Bognor Regis (Aldwick) and Felpham – have also been allocated funding by Southern Water to support work to reduce litter, bird and dog fouling.


Cllr Ian Buckland (LD, River) said Arun had refused councillors’ requests for many years for new dog and litter bins.


“Hopefully, all this will happen but so, so many councillors have gone on about this and you have waited until the horse has bolted,” he said.


Restrictions on dogs are in place on some beaches in the area.

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