In 1989 The Whistler December issue included a full size cartoon by Steve Bell…

Dog 001It was recognised that the issue of dog nuisance on West Hill pavements was a very serious one, affecting everybody and from the number of times it was raised at the Association’s Annual General Meeting, it was seen to be one that was close to everyone’s heart, (or perhaps their sole).

The Brighton Good Dog Campaign started with a leaflet through everybody’s letter box, naming West Hill Community Association as a sponsor. The intention was to install a poop bin and pay for it to be emptied for a year, at an estimated cost of £250. In order to raise funds the Committee asked Steve Bell to design a poster which could be sold. Steve Bell is known nationally as a prolific cartoonist, published in The Guardian. As you can see, Steve did an excellent job. He produced the poster in a limited edition and it was used to raise funds and get the message across the dog owners.

The Whistler still has one of the posters in the office, but unfortunately, as you will see from the letter below, we still have the same old problem with the owners. Don’t blame the dogs.

Dear Whistler

THAT is the final piece of s*%t to which I fall victim on Clifton Street (Dog Poo) Passage.

This has to be one of the most historic lanes in Brighton, bursting with character but with the most disgraceful amount of dog muck littered along this 50-metre stretch.

I assume most people who are aware of this back passage, know Brighton intimately. The area isn’t too wealthy, with patches of green for Rex to have a run-around, which would then have me believe that it has to be residents of the West Hill area who have made this alley look like a pair of Alsatian’s underpants.

Does the council honestly need to pop laminated signs up and replenish poop bags weekly for a dog walker to remember that it is their responsibility to clean up after their mutt, or should we, as non-dog owning residents, just take a different route home or just except the desolation of Brogue?

I am currently having two signs made for either end of the passage reading ‘Dog S*#t Alley’. I figured I may as well make a feature of its new found fame and pre-warn (I’m sure most of the innocent) residents of the turd slalom ahead.

A garden hose to the shoes for the last time!

A Whistler Reader


Dear Whistler

Further to the Feb/March edition which highlighted recycling…

Put simply, this scheme only serves to demonstrate how quickly and easily well-meaning people can become out- of-touch once they become professionally involved in Politics…which is exactly the opposite of what should happen. Whatever Party, they are all, in varying degrees, complicit. They get embroiled in their meetings, councils and debates whilst the rest of us go about our daily business with all that it involves.

When I first heard about this scheme I was shocked and appalled and wrote immediately to the Council to explain why I though it unwise and inappropriate – it may make great economic sense on paper , but it was clearly full of holes as anybody remotely in touch with the heartbeat of Brighton would know straightaway. I received a very stock response claiming that the scheme had been overwhelmingly well received and “would continue to be monitored”. The kind of response I would expect from a Tory Councillor in Marlow, rather than a Council that claims to be different and caring in Brighton!

Brighton is an extremely busy commuter town, with many people getting up at 04:00/05:00hrs and arriving back at 21:00hrs, five days (at least) a week. That’s the first thing that should have been thought about. Just when are you going to take bottles etc. to a bin in the street when you are already dashing for the 05:10hrs train to London Bridge? Our weekends are, of course, precious and getting to the gym, shops, going for a walk, takes every waking hour. This is actually the norm, not the exception. I know, I travel with hundreds of people who live this way every day.

Even if we were inclined, had time in the morning, what about the noise disturbance for our neighbours of materials, including bottles, descending into that bin?

It has to be acknowledged too, that (whether you care to admit it or not) Brighton is a party town, and most households in our street have a great number of bottles accumulated by Sunday night! You can choose to adopt the attitude, “Well, that’s not something the Council can take into account” or “Maybe this will encourage people to drink less and is, therefore, beneficial”, but that just goes back to the Brown/Blair Nanny State approach. “Let them sip Evian, whilst we all get smashed on free booze 5 nights a week in Westminster. It’ll reduce the stress on the NHS”.

In Brighton there are affluent, professional, busy people who drink too much. Fact. Get over it (Council). It’s not a few random students/clubbers, it’s practically the whole town! Not to mention the excessive levels of recyclable packaging generated by post 22:00hrs instant dinners, and plastic milk containers for that much-needed morning coffee from M&S at the Station.

When I wrote to the Council I pointed out that the planned location of these new bins was at the end of our street Clifton Street, right outside an old lady’s bedroom. This did not appear to be of any interest. Disappointing.

When I first moved to Brighton, I was heartened, and immediately engaged with Magpie, a terrific service, no doubt on which Brighton based/stole their idea for Collected Re-cycling. Great idea/service, and sincere (nothing going off to landfill). Of course, they charge (very fairly) for their service and it is to this that my wife and I have now gone back. Ironically, I felt bad when I cancelled their service in favour of the Council scheme, but thought “Well, it can only be good that this becomes the norm for all towns, rather than relying on private services”. The rest of Britain, indeed, then followed suit, but now Brighton has regressed. One city that really needs, benefits from and embraces a Collected Re-cycling scheme is Brighton.

When I saw your cover photo, I was annoyed. Oh, so predictable. Who did the maths as to how much re-cycling would need to be accommodated by the new bins? Brighton is busy; it commutes; it wants to re-cycle; it ‘party’s’. What more do you need to know to make an informed decision?

Anyway, I’m off for a bottle of beer from the fridge now.

Love the magazine. Thanks.

Neil Smith, Clifton Street

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