LOCAL man George Moug came into the office on Thursday, fuming about litter that has been thrown over the railing at the seafront at Montrose.
The car-parking area in front of the beach cafe is clean and tidy with lots of litter bins, but when you walk to the seafront railing and look down, that is when an array of cartons, plastic bags, bottles and cans comes into view.
It seems clear that the items have been thrown over the railing rather than having been put in the bins provided.
It has been suggested that gulls may be responsible for some of the litter, having taken it from the bins. However, we have yet to see gulls swigging from beer cans or bottles, which comprise an element of the discarded garbage.
Mr Moug was doubly embarrassed because while he had been at the beach that morning he had met a visiting party of Americans, who had been photographing what they regarded as a beautiful town.
One of them, no doubt tongue-in-cheek, asked if this was the local dump?
Mr Moug asked if anyone has the responsibility for cleaning the area in question.
It was also suggested that Community Service offenders might be employed tidying it up.
We put the question to Angus Council, which is obviously as much a victim of the litter louts in question as is Montrose’s tourist image.
A spokeswoman told us: “There are obvious difficulties associated with clearing the rocky area below the railing at Montrose seafront but we will remove the litter when staffing resources allow.
“We remind members of the public that it is an offence to litter, and a fixed penalty notice of £50 can be issued to anyone caught dropping litter.
“Much time and effort goes into keeping our towns and villages clean and litter free and we ask the public to help by disposing of litter responsibly.”
Over the summer, a number of national volunteer ‘spring-clean’ groups get to work. Indeed, on Thursday Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead praised the efforts of more than 1,750 people from Angus who have already committed to taking part in the National Spring Clean, which runs until May 31.
He continued: “The state of Scotland’s litter is not going to change overnight but you can make a difference – National Spring Clean, organised by leading environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, aims to empower 200,000 individuals, communities, businesses and youth groups who want to get together to clean up their favourite parts of Scotland. United, we can turn the tide on Scotland’s litter, and be proud of our country again.
“Last year more than 97,000 people gave up their time to pick up more than 1,000 tonnes of litter between them.”
To help groups get started, Keep Scotland Beautiful provides group organisers with free clean up kits, and they can also request additional assistance from their local council.
Sign up at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/springclean