The scheme aims to encourage everyone to take a pride in where they live and the places they enjoy.

Whether you are a resident, community group, school or business you can take part in our Adopt an Area scheme. The area you adopt can be as small as the pavement outside your home, a favourite footpath, play area, village or shop frontage — all we ask is that you keep that space litter free. The scheme is simple. You decide on the area you wish to adopt and then sign up. This is a commitment to one or more of the following:

  • encouraging people to take pride in their local area.

  • reporting any problems to us, such as fly tipping, extensive littering or continuous issues of dog fouling in your local area.

  • helping to keep the area clean by getting involved in, or organising, community clear ups.

We're not asking you to do our job for us, but just to work with us and be our eyes and ears in your local community.

We have been overwhelmed by the support from residents and businesses and want to say a huge thank you. Over 154 areas have been adopted and this is growing all of the time, which is wonderful news. Community groups, schools, businesses and individuals have been taking part and helping to make a real difference in their local communities, which is just fantastic. Bourne Community College is the latest school to support the scheme and we are keen to build on this with other schools across the district. It's really easy to sign up. You just have to fill out the online form. You will then be automatically sent an 'adopt and area' pack.

I've received some really positive feedback from residents about our campaign. One gentleman called to say that they had previously had significant litter problems on the roads close to his home and, since road signs were introduced warning people that they could be fined, this had dramatically reduced. This is one of many comments that we have received. We really want your feedback because this campaign is all about us working together to protect our district and keep it looking beautiful.

As you are aware, last October, we introduced a trial litter enforcement scheme. Most people who have received a fine have paid, but those who haven't have been taken to court. Already, 26 people who failed to pay were fined over £200 by the court. Although this isn't something we want to do, it is important that people know that we are serious about protecting the district and keeping it beautiful. All of the money collected from the fines pays for the service.

In July, we launched the third stage of the 'Against Litter' campaign. This encourages dog owners to sign up to the Green Dog Walker's scheme. This is a national scheme that 40 other councils across the country have signed up to. It encourages dog owners to pledge to always clean up after their dog and put the bag in a bin or take it home with them; as well as taking a friendly approach to encouraging other dog walkers to do the same. I regularly receive complaints from residents about dog fouling and together this is something that we need to stop. This new scheme is one of the ways we hope to tackle the problem. Within the first two weeks of launching the scheme over 230 people signed up.

We're so grateful to everyone for supporting our Against Litter campaign. It's even been shortlisted for two Chartered Institute of Public Relations' PRide awards. The results are announced in November and so we'll keep you posted.

I also want to thank you all for your hard work in helping us to recycle as much household waste as possible. Since the council launched its recycling campaign in 2016, the recycling rate has increased from 39% to 45%, which is great news. There has also been a significant reduction in the amount of household waste, which has fallen by 11% - which equates to 64kg of waste per household. Our aim is to recycle 50% of waste by 2020 and with everyone's continued support I think we can achieve this.

Have a wonderful summer.

Best Wishes

Cllr Roger Barrow

Cabinet Member for Resident Services at Chichester District Council