BRIGHTON and Hove’s beaches play a massive part in bringing tourists to the most popular beach resort in the country. With another bank holiday coming up, Jamie Micklethwaite looks at how an army of volunteers is being raised to help with the big clean-up afterwards.

Beach-lovers are all too often shocked at the amount of |rubbish left strewn across the pebbles. But an army of volunteers will be putting on their gloves and grabbing a bin bag to clear up the mess after the bank holiday weekend at the end of May.

More than ten tonnes of rubbish can be found on the beach and seafront after a busy weekend, so we can all do our bit to help the council clean-up.

On Tuesday, May 27, The Argus, the city council and local businesses and residents will meet at Brighton Beach to do their part in the Big Beach Clean-up.

The Big Beach Clean-up will be the start of The City Makers initiative led by The Argus, inviting readers to come up with other projects for volunteers to help with.

Anyone is welcome to take part in the clean-up, which will take place from 8.30am until 10.30am and start from the Palace Pier.

Michael Beard, editor of The Argus, said: “This is a wonderful place to live and work in and we need to keep it that way.

“The army of volunteers will no doubt do us all proud again in keeping our beautiful beach clean and tidy as we look at more projects for the new City Makers initiative.”

At last year’s Big Beach Clean-up, volunteers collected about half a tonne of rubbish, enough to half fill one of the Cityclean vehicles.

Litter picking tools and bags will again be provided for volunteers, free of charge.

So far, the likes of the Sea Life Centre, Legal & General, Southern Water and Jason Kitcat, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, have committed to the clean-up cause, as well as a number of |independent seafront businesses.

Councillor Kitcat said: “I’m delighted to be supporting another Big Beach Clean-up.

“With this community action we can all do our bit to stop littering and help keep our wonderful beach clean.”

Paula Murray, assistant chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting the Big Beach Clean-up and it is very encouraging to see so many businesses and people joining in, taking pride in keeping the seafront looking good for residents and visitors.

“The council’s beach cleaners do a tremendous job and bringing people together like this raises awareness about litter and the need to take it home or put it in the bins provided.”

Michael Yeoman, commercial director of South Downs Solar Limited, approached The Argus to see what he could do to raise awareness of keeping Brighton Beach tidy.

He said: “I think the whole thing started when people saw the impact and the damage that the floods had, when half the beach was up on the promenade.

“More and more people are becoming aware of the effect that they are having on the environment so they are becoming more responsible for their own waste.

“It’s important that we all do what we can to protect the beach because it is Brighton’s best asset.”

Geoff Loader, Southern Water’s director of communications, also shared the opinion that Brighton Beach is one of the city’s greatest assets.

He said: “For our part, we have invested more than £300 million on our Cleaner Seas for Sussex scheme, which was judged civil engineering project of the year.

“That’s all about improving our beaches and so is the Big Beach Clean-up, so it is great for us to be able to support The Argus with the event.

“It’s one of a number of community projects being led by |the newspaper, and its City Makers volunteers, to help make Brighton an even better place to live in and visit.”