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A bigger police presence is needed to control littering on Islay, says an island councillor.
Ward councillor Alastair Redman is calling on Chief Inspector Marlene Baillie, also the Local Area Commander in charge of Kintyre and the Islands, for more support to keep the rubbish problem in Bowmore under control.
Councillor Redman says he has also been in regular contact with Argyll and Bute Council and the Islay High School head teacher about the matter.
In a letter to Chief Inspector Baillie which was also sent to The Oban Times, councillor Redman said: ‘You will be aware that for some time now there have been issues in terms of littering on the isle of Islay and many of my constituents continue to raise this with me.
‘As the school summer holidays approach their end, I wanted to make contact with you to request a higher police presence during school interval times outwith the school premises.
‘I understand the head teacher and wider school leadership team do their very best to monitor the pupils at the school and that the school has held positive talks with pupils around the impact of littering on their community and the environment, as well as their duty to become role models for the wider community.’
Councillor Redman has also asked that the council bins are emptied more often.
‘I appreciate that given the beautiful scenery on Islay and all that the island has to offer, will continuously bring visitors and tourists and, for this reason, I have requested that the council empty bins more frequently to try to deal with the situation, however, I do believe a higher police presence would deter some of the behaviours we are seeing across our island from visitors and tourists.
‘I hope Police Scotland can support the community on this issue.’
Councillor Redman has now heard back from Chief Inspector Baillie who said she has been liaising with the police team on Islay over the last few months about the litter issue.
In a response to The Oban Times, Chief Inspector Marlene Baillie said: ‘Local officers are committed to tackling the issue of littering on Islay and there are plans to visit the school after the holidays to do some preventative work with staff and pupils.
‘When possible, we will also aim to increase patrols during peak times within the centre of Bowmore in an effort to deter this behaviour and engage with the community.
‘We will also work in partnership with the relevant local council services to reduce littering and ensure the island of Islay continues to be a beautiful place to live and visit.’
A council spokesperson said: ‘We are increasing our collections to twice weekly throughout the summer to deal with the increase of rubbish. This includes uplifts during weekends. With limited resources, we are covering 2,300kms of roads, 3.02 million household waste bins and 780 litter bins. We encourage people to play their part to help keep Argyll and Bute beautiful by taking litter home and using recycling facilities.’