The beaches at Cleveleys and Rossall have become engulfed in a massive build-up of plastic and other waste – and not enough is being done about it.
That’s the claim of dog walker Andy Sharrocks who claims Wyre Council is ignoring the issue and has made the situation worse by laying off staff responsible for cleaning up the rubbish on the beaches.
But Wyre has hit back at the claims and says it employs more street/beach cleaning staff than it did in previous years.
And the authority says Keep Britain Tidy’s Seaside Awards, given to beaches at Cleveleys, Rossall and Fleetwood just last month, prove that standards there are better than ever.
A similar view was expressed by beach clean volunteer Jane Littlewood, who says an array of volunteers are having a considerable impact on the cleanliness of those beaches.
But, Mr Sharrocks, of Fleetwood Road, Anchorsholme, says Wyre is putting too much emphasis on getting enforcement officers to fine dog walkers, rather than tackle the more pressing environmental issue of rubbish on beaches.
He said “Dedicated litter clearers have been laid off due to cut backs but Enforcement Officers have been put in place to hand out fines to people who walk their dogs off the lead on the deserted promenade.
“Since February I have daily cleared up to five bags of rubbish from Cleveleys beach and toward Rossall, consisting mainly of plastic.
“The volume of plastic concerned me so much that I posted photos on Facebook to encourage people to pick it up too.
“The waste is obviously coming in from ships, but it lands on Wyre Council’s seafront.
“Whilst they can implement a dog ban on Fleetwood and Cleveleys beaches and promenades, these enforcement officers will not take the responsibility to clear the rubbish up which accumulates there, including broken glass and nasty spiked fishing tackle which could cut or even maim a child or a dog running on the beach.”
Mr Sharrock says he himself was hit by a fixed penalty notice for walking his dog on a lead at 7.30am, when the beach was deserted, and says the council could try other methods to tackle dog fouling.
But a Wyre spokesman said: “We employ more members of staff in our street cleansing team now than when we brought the service back in house in 2012.
“In addition we now work with the Enforcement Officers who are employed to issue fines to people dropping litter amongst other offences such as dog fouling and having a dog on certain parts of the beach from May to September.
“The dog ban is in place on Jubilee Beach in Cleveleys and Marine Beach in Fleetwood to help keep our bathing waters clean and healthy.
“Dogs are allowed on the promenade as long as they are kept on the lead in the exclusion zone.”
“The Wyre ranger service and waste team both have staff who patrol and clean the Wyre coastline daily.
“We also work with Keep Britain Tidy on the Love my Beach campaign to host regular beach cleans that many volunteers attend each week; Community payback also regularly carry out litter picks in Wyre.”
And beach clean volunteer Jane Littlewood, chairman of the Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group, says the town’s beaches have so many different groups clearing rubbish, the beaches are cleaner than ever.
She said: "It’s possible he could have seen the beach directly after stormy weather, when the tide always brings in more rubbish, but generally all the work being done, including by Community Payback, means the rubbish is kept well under control on our beaches."