A COUNCILLOR says more should be done about the state of a picturesque beach that has become strewn with unsightly junk.
The Fish Sands, on the Headland, in Hartlepool, is visited by a stream of families, tourists, and walkers throughout the year.
But over recent weeks the sand on the small beach, off the Town Wall, which looks out over Hartlepool Marina, has been littered with all kinds of rubbish, including a traffic cone, men’s pants, paper, plastic bags, polystyrene, alcohol cans, broken glass bottles, shoes, a pair of ladders, and even a smashed-up front door complete with door-bell.
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Today Councillor John Marshall said the Headland had all the elements to be a great place for people to visit. But a junk-covered beach would not attract them back.
He believes the Headland Parish Council and Hartlepool Borough Council should play a bigger role in looking after it.
Hartlepool Borough Council said it has now removed the litter and will try its best to keep it clean.
Coun Marshall, independent councillor for the St Hilda ward, said: “There are a number of sides to this issue.
“Children need to be educated by their parents about looking after the environment and should be chastised for throwing down rubbish.
“The council itself has a duty to keep these areas clean because they are public areas.
“They clean the beach from May to September, but then it tends to stop during the winter.
“It needs to be spruced up in the winter too because a lot of rubbish is washed up and lays there for all to see.”
He added: “The parish council for me is inactive and needs to play a bigger part. The parish council has a duty to the people when it takes in money from them.
“It should take a leaf out of Greatham Parish Council’s book in looking after the place. What’s the point in having a parish council if it doesn’t get things like that done?”
But the parish council’s Coun John Cambridge said: “If somebody complains about it then we’ll look at it and complain to the council.
“It’s not up to the parish council, yes we get a precept, but we don’t have any say as to what goes on in that respect.
“The council usually has a clean-up every so often, but with the tide coming in and out the rubbish is going to accumulate anyway. It’s difficult.”
A Hartlepool council spokesman said: “During what we would class as the ‘summer months’ from April to the beginning of October we carry out daily cleaning of the Fish Sands beach to collect litter and any items of debris which have been washed up.
“Although we have limited resources we do our best to keep the beach clean during the rest of the year, and we have been out and removed the debris which Councillor Marshall has reported to us.
“We note Councillor Marshall’s comments and we will continue to do our best to try to keep the Fish Sands clear of washed-up debris throughout the year.
“Also, we always welcome interest from any local people interested in playing their part in helping to look after the beach by taking part in litter picks.”
Anyone wanting more information on litter picks should contact Karen Oliver, the council’s north neighbourhood Manager, on (01429) 523680.”