To East Hampshire District Council, regarding our Third World streets: yet again, I find myself having to bring the disgraceful condition of our streets and car parks in Petersfield to public attention.
It’s 7am on Thursday, September 7 and I cross the central car park. The amount of litter and rubbish is terrible. It has accumulated over the previous week.
EHDC are simply not doing their job, so yet again I had to do it for them.
I picked three medium-sized bags of litter from the entire car park. This has been the same story for at least the past 12 months and before that.
Those who throw rubbish and litter on our streets are a disgrace and should be penalised and publicly shamed.
East Hampshire District Council: You are not educating the public about their civic duty, that they should not throw litter on the streets or leave litter and rubbish next to already full bins.
Please have a public awareness scheme about this and please enforce penalties.
East Hampshire District Council: You are not cleaning and sweeping our streets properly or often enough. Once in a while, and here and there, is not good enough. Grassy areas are not trimmed properly if at all, with the cuttings often left to rot on the kerbside.
East Hampshire District Council: The Third World condition of Petersfield town centre suggests you have no pride in our town and therefore no pride in England or the wider UK. Whatever must visitors from abroad think of us?
East Hampshire District Council: It is your responsibility to fix this social problem. It has and will have a bearing on our wellbeing as individuals and as a society.
Main grotspots in Petersfield which I see regularly: The entire central car park. The grass island at Dragon Steet/College Street. The Festival Hall car park. Hobbs Lane. Chapel Street. The shrubs and bushes that lead to the Tesco car park. The Avenue, a lovely road but looks scruffy as the grass areas are rarely trimmed or manicured. The High Street and the Square. There are plenty more places, too.
EHDC! You can do better than this.
England is better than this. Petersfield is better than this. We are better than this.
By Glenn McLernon
The team at East Hampshire Norse replied:
We are disappointed to hear Mr McLernon feels this way about the town centre.
EHDC, working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, spends significant sums of money on the general upkeep of the town centre.
Our collective efforts see dedicated teams working in the town centre eight hours a day, seven days a week. These teams empty bins at least once per day and, more often than not, three times per day, and manually sweep the streets.
In addition to that, the town centre roads are mechanically swept once every two weeks, subject only to missing areas where cars are parked.
We definitely agree with Mr McLernon that residents should not drop litter. Even with our daily litter patrols, it is important residents take responsibility and properly dispose of the litter they create.
Anyone caught dropping litter runs the risk of an £80 fine.
With regards to the grassed areas, these are cut to agreed schedules, which see a mix of cutting frequencies to match the allocated funding.
It is correct that grass trimmings are not collected, but all efforts are made to ensure the arisings are blown or swept back on the verges for them to be naturally absorbed back into the soil. This method of cutting is standard in most, if not all, local authorities.
There are also other influences that need to be factored into the wider community feelings, such as the use of herbicides, shared responsibilities with other local organisations and private company upkeep – all of which, on occasion, may lead to issues in the community.
We would like to assure the residents of Petersfield and East Hampshire that we understand how important it is that you can take pride in your town centres and we are working hard to keep them looking neat and tidy.