Date issued: 16 August 2018
Colchester Borough Council completed a period of deep cleaning of its streets.
Between 25 July and 3 August, specialist contractors were brought in to deep clean the High Street using specialist hot pressure washers. A team of up to six contractors were in action from 6pm to 6am each night to wash dirt and grime from the pavement - with grease from discarded food and trodden-in chewing gum proving the most challenging to remove.
In addition, over the last four weeks, the council’s zones operatives focused their cleaning on the wider town centre. Extra operatives were brought into the town centre from 6am to 2pm each day, clocking up almost 300 hours to pressure wash the pavements of Queen Street, Osborne Street, St John's Street, Crouch Street East and Head Street. Meanwhile a team of eleven operatives continued the town centre’s daily cleaning routine which includes emptying bins, litter picking, graffiti removal, and cleaning of car parks and toilets.
Over the long dry summer, the council had received criticism of the cleanliness of the High Street which had been hampered by the breakdown of several of the council’s cleaning vehicles and the effect of low rainfall and soaring temperatures.
This July, the council committed to invest around £750,000 to boost work to keep the town centre clean and promote the town’s heritage and attractions as part of ‘Better Colchester’ – a two-year action plan to help deliver the aims and objectives of the council’s overarching strategic plan.
Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Waste, Sustainability and Transportation, said: “What a difference the last few weeks have made to the appearance of our town centre. The fresh focus and increased activity is bringing the town centre back to its shining best.
“Our extra investment into keeping the town centre clean and safe is now beginning to bear fruit. Our new Trailer Mounted Pressure Washer will be on the streets this week – adding to our fleet of sweepers, pressure washers and gum removers; we’re extending the daily and weekly cleansing routine across a new seven-day work schedule from September; and we’ve got a further deep clean scheduled for later this month.
“We’re also recruiting more zone operatives to help with our on-going clean-up, but I would also urge all of our residents and visitors to play their part as well. If people used the bins or took their rubbish home with them and didn’t throw food or chewing gum onto the streets for example, we would not have to continually find money from our stretched budget that could be used to support other vital services the council provides.”
Residents and visitors to Colchester are encouraged to report and request a clean-up of instances of littering, graffiti, fly-tipping and more via the council's website at https://www.colchester.gov.uk/zones