THOUSANDS of people flocked to Barry Island for the early May Bank Holiday, but they departed leaving a sea of litter in their wake.

Residents took to social media to voice their disgust about the rubbish the sun seekers had left behind at Whitmore Bay.

Acknowledging visitors had responsibility for disposing of their waste correctly and responsibly, by using refuse bins provided or taking it home, they also questioned whether the Vale council had deployed adequate resources to cope with the demand.

Barry Island trader, Marco Zeraschi said: “The cleansing team were overwhelmed by the numbers of people. They did not stop all day.”

Miles Punter, Vale of Glamorgan Council Director of Environment and Housing Services, said: “Unprecedented quantities of rubbish were left by day trippers and the Council has had to bring in extra resources to deal with this problem." 

Anne Marie Gardiner agreed with Marco Zeraschi and said: “People are responsible for their own rubbish. The cleansing team on the Island always work damned hard and take pride in keeping the area clean. Unfortunately it’s society as a whole. Blame culture and somebody else’s responsibility.”

Mike Heffernan, chairman of the Barry Island Historical Group, said: “The mess on the beach wasn't created by the council. It was created by selfish people who were too lazy to take their rubbish to a bin on the promenade or home with them at the end of the day and yet the council invariably gets the blame for not giving them enough bins."

Lynnette Knight, of Cadoxton, said: “They do a great job but not enough resources. Where are the litter police? They would pay for themselves in an hour on Barry Island Bank Holiday.”

Simon Llewellyn added: “Clearly council resources have been cut too far. We do pay council tax after all.”

Mr Punter of Vale of Glamorgan Council said: “Huge numbers of visitors flocked to Barry Island to enjoy the warm weather over the bank holiday weekend and unfortunately some have shown a complete disregard for one of the Vale’s most iconic locations.

“The clean-up operation began on Monday evening and resumed at 6.30am on Tuesday, with staff being drafted in from other areas to help tackle the issue.

"Despite the best endeavours of our staff, bins occasionally become full, in which case litter should be bagged and left as close to the bin as possible. There is never any excuse for leaving litter on the beach and, quite frankly, enough is enough.     

“The council has carried out major improvement works at Barry Island in recent years to once again establish the area as a premier seaside resort and this kind of irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated.

"We will be increasing our enforcement patrols over the summer period, with anyone found to be littering liable to be issued with a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice, while they could also face possible prosecution. It may also be necessary to use our CCTV cameras to help identify offenders.”