We live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the country and yet we spend over £1 million keeping our district clean and tidy. Our street cleansing team travel across the 303 square miles of the district each day, cleaning the streets, emptying the bins and litter picking. However, as you can imagine, over such a large area, they can't all be in one place at once.

That's why a few years ago we introduced our Against Litter campaign, to bring everyone together in the fight against the crime of littering and take pride in their area. We have some incredible individuals across the district who are dedicated to keeping their patch clean and tidy. My home town of Petworth is a good example of this. People of all ages were out recently, making sure that the area looked its best.

We want to celebrate the fantastic work of our community heroes who spend hours cleaning up after each other and would be keen to hear about what you are doing in your local area. Or why not sign up to 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 help to keep that space litter free. We even have a special pack that you can sign up for and you can find out more about this here: Adopt an Area.

If you have a dog, consider signing up to our Green Dog Walkers Scheme. This is a nationally-led programme to help reduce dog fouling and encourage responsible dog ownership. It offers a proven, non-confrontational and friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling and encourages responsible dog ownership. Most, importantly, it acts as a reminder to others that they need to pick up after their dog has fouled and keep them under control. You can sign up and find out more about our scheme here: Green Dog Walkers® scheme.

We are also encouraging you to report fly tips and litter hotspots. Fly tipping is when rubbish is illegally dumped on roads or land. It is a serious crime that costs resident taxpayers around £350,000 a year in our area. Offenders can receive a criminal record with a fine of up to £50,000 (or unlimited if the case goes to the Crown Court) or can be sent to prison in very serious cases. If you see any fly tipping, please note it and report it here: Against Fly Tipping.

We are working hard to tackle this issue, but we need your help. One of the most important roles you can play is to make sure that anyone you employ or ask to remove and dispose of the excess waste from your property is licensed as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency. By law, you are responsible for your waste. If someone removes your waste on your behalf, it's vital that you use a licensed waste carrier and ask for a waste transfer note as evidence. If you don't do this and your waste is fly tipped, you would have committed a crime and, if taken to court, you could get a criminal record and be fined or you may have the opportunity to discharge this criminal offence by paying a fixed penalty notice.

We also employ litter enforcement officers, who patrol key hotspots such as our coastal areas, which can get particularly busy when we see lots of visitors. They will issue fixed penalty notices against anyone caught littering or not clearing up after their dog.

I want to thank you in advance for your support with all of this work, because I know that we are all against litter, and by working together we can keep our district beautiful. You can find out more about our entire campaign at: Against litter campaign.

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council