Time to deal with small minority who continue to leave mess behind

A lot of garbage at the tourist destination

The initial focus is on tackling littering, dog control, fly-tipping, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, failure to produce a waste transfer note, and not presenting domestic or commercial waste bins in the correct way at the right time - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fly-tipping, abandoned vehicles and dog mess are just some of the things that annoy and frustrate many of us.

These crimes have an impact on our environment, and residents often contact their ward councillors wanting action on this anti-social behaviour.

That is why the council has appointed a new enforcement team to help clean up the Bay and send a firm message that we will not tolerate this.

The new team, which is being commissioned from Natural Enforcement Solutions, has the power to issue fixed penalty notices to anyone committing environmental crimes in Torbay.

The initial focus is on tackling littering, dog control, fly-tipping, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, failure to produce a waste transfer note, and not presenting domestic or commercial waste bins in the correct way at the right time.

As a council we had hoped to bring this in months ago, but dealing with the pandemic led to delays in the commissioning of this service. 

The vast majority of us want to make Torbay a cleaner, greener place to live and this new enforcement team will help us to deal with the small minority of people who continue to leave a mess behind, and deter others from such anti-social acts. 

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The council is also looking at renewing two Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). They can help prevent anti-social behaviour and can be enforced by the police and authorised council officers.

We want to extend the PSPO for dog-fouling across the whole of Torbay for another three years, so irresponsible people who don’t pick up their dog’s mess can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

We also want to continue and amend a PSPO for Alcohol Restriction Zones for certain areas in our town centres across the Bay. 

We do not want to stop anyone from enjoying our open spaces, but we do want to make sure that we can all enjoy these spaces safely and in peace.

A six-week consultation started this week, so please have your say on Torbay Council’s consultation web pages. 

Enforcement can be a strong deterrent and is just one way of tackling anti-social behaviour. We must also recognise that for some this is a symptom of a much more deep-rooted problem. which fines alone will not solve.

We want to use some of the three per cent social care precept to invest in vulnerable people with complex needs so we can help tackle the source of their problems head on.

Many people with chaotic lifestyles need this support to break a cycle of issues caused by things like drugs, alcohol and abuse.

The Government has again failed to recognise the costs of adult social care and it is wrong that we have to ask local taxpayers to help foot the bill through council tax hikes. But without the social care precept, we simply can’t fund adult social care appropriately.

We want to continue the work we are doing to support the most vulnerable in our communities – the very people who were left behind by the previous cuts that were made to the then Supporting People budget.

Protecting our environment and the people who live in Torbay is very important. As our climate changes, sea levels are rising and we are seeing more storms.

In partnership with the Environment Agency, we have commissioned an assessment of our current coastal defences.

This has shown that the sea defences we have on both seafronts at Paignton and Preston will only provide protection from flooding from storms for up to another ten years and by acting now we can rapidly reduce the risk to properties in the future.

We would like your views before Sunday, February 21, on our proposals for a new sea wall to protect properties and businesses.

There’s more information at www.torbay.gov.uk/PaigntonSeaWall