A major blitz on grotty streets has been announced by the district council at a cost of almost £900,000.
South Kesteven District Council has announced the major programme for street cleaning and will be asking residents to help identify areas to target.
SKDC’s ‘Big Clean’ will involve an initial 12-week programme, costing £450,000, to transform the district’s ‘grot spots’, tackling litter, weeds, fly-tipping, graffiti and broken street furniture across the district’s 365 square miles.
The local authority said it aims to set a standard that consistently exceeds the national average and make the council one of the best performers in the country.
Cabinet member for environment Councillor Peter Moseley said: “When we asked residents about their priorities for the area, one of the top five issues they identified was litter and cleanliness.
“Cleaner streets make our villages and towns nicer places to live in and to visit. We also want to make South Kesteven as attractive as possible to businesses that will provide the future jobs and growth in our area.
“We have always worked hard to ensure the streets are as clean and litter-free as possible within our annual budget. This programme recognises that some areas need extra attention to bring them up to scratch.”
The initial £450,000 will see a number of new teams formed to tidy areas and undertake work identified through an intelligence gathering exercise and operations will begin in August.
Further funding of £210,000 will later provide an additional team.
Meanwhile, a capital investment of £226,500 will buy the necessary equipment and vehicles.
The Big Clean must involve the community, said Coun Moseley. He said: “We’re keen to transform our streets, but we can’t do it alone – it needs to be a team effort. We’ll therefore be asking residents, community groups and businesses to help identify areas for us to target and even inviting locals to join us in particular areas.
“We’ll also be working with our colleagues in the county council to synchronise their responsibilities with ours, emptying gullies, cleaning signs, ripping out weeds, cleaning pavements, removing graffiti and sorting out bins.
“It’s an exciting project, which I hope everyone will support!”
There was a unanimous vote in favour of the project at Thursday’s full meeting of the council, but Grantham councillor Charmaine Morgan raised concerns that Grantham could be ignored because it does not have a town council to be consulted.
Coun Morgan said: “Grantham has no town or parish council. There is an issue here. Who do you engage with? We cannot use the Charter Trustees. We have tried that route and it was bounced back.
“I think we need a more satifactory solution holistically about how we engage with Grantham people and the representatives of Grantham who represent the second largest town in the county.
“We have no representative voice at this point. Time and time again I have to stand up and say do not forget Grantham.”
Council leader Matthew Lee said that town and parish councils were just some of those partners who would be consulted.
Coun Lee said: “We have to work with the town councils, parish councils, the volunteers, all sorts of voluntary organisations.
“There is a huge amount of thought that has gone into this and we will work with the best partner in that area to deliver this programme.
“Links with Lincolnshire County Council are also important. We must always consider what we can do so we spend money across both councils in the most cost effective way.”
Residents will be invited to pinpoint areas for the Big Clean to assess and how volunteers, community groups and businesses can get on board with the project.
The council will be issuing regular updates on social media. Follow #SKBigClean as the project develops.
What do you think to SKDC’s plan to spend almost £900,000 on cleaning up the town and wider district? Tell us where you think the money should be spent. Do any particular ‘grot spots’ come to mind? Email email@example.com or write to Grantham Journal, St Peter’s House, St Peter’s Hill, Grantham, Lincs NG31 6QB.