More money for cleaner & greener streets

Councillor David Wood with a member of the cleansing team

An increase in street cleaning, free graffiti removal for domestic properties AND a new ‘Clean and Green’ team to respond to issues reported by residents are among plans for an extra £950,000 spend on neighbourhood services by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

In February the council agreed the one-off investment as part of its 2022/23 budget to improve the environment across its communities.

When the pilot has been completed, the outcomes will be reviewed to ensure they deliver the necessary service improvements. Further long-term investment will be considered as part of the council’s budget-setting process for 2023/24.

Now, a scrutiny panel is set to consider 11 priority actions in which the £950k will be spent.

A report going before the council’s Climate Emergency and Sustainability Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel today (March 14) recommends increased routine street cleansing in wards and on the highways network with priority stretches of the A37, A39 and A4 to be cleaned four times a year.

A new response team working across parks, cleansing and highways service areas would primarily respond to problems with overhanging vegetation and sign cleaning reported by residents.

Another new ‘Clean and Green’ team would work with community volunteer groups and local councillors across the district to tackle problem areas and organise community action days.

The 11 proposed priority areas are:

  • Increased routine street cleansing in wards and on the highways network, with additional ‘Clean and Green’ community action days – £300,000
  • Mechanical weed removal – as the council no longer uses glyphosate to kill weeds, extra dedicated staff would use specialist machinery to carry out mechanical weed removal – £101,000
  • Community weeding equipment to loan – £9,000
  • Additional graffiti removal – graffiti removal up to the value of £1,500 could be provided free of charge to domestic properties with a chargeable service offered for commercial buildings – £100,000
  • New response team to work across Parks, Cleansing & Highways for 12 months – £100,000
  • Additional enforcement resource – to focus on dog fouling, fly tipping and littering offences – £40,000
  • Additional gulley emptying – £100,000
  • Replacement of worn-out highway signs and street name plates – £30,000
  • Increased investment in repairing roads and pavements – £85,000
  • Increased line painting on the highway – £80,000
  • Additional filling of grit bins – £5,000

The funding comes on top of the council’s commitment of £2m per year for road maintenance in addition to the Highway Maintenance Grant received from Government via the West of England Combined Authority.

Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “This extra investment will improve our ability to clean streets, gullies and road signs more frequently in more areas and make Bath and North East Somerset a more welcoming place to be. We know from listening to residents that there are areas that suffer particular issues with litter, graffiti and weeds, which is why we’re proposing to introduce these new Clean and Green teams to respond to residents about cleaning up our streets.

“We are lucky to have strong support from volunteers in B&NES who help to keep our parks, open spaces and neighbourhoods clean and we want to build on that further with Clean and Green community action days. We also want to improve education and enforcement around fly tipping and littering. Our proposals include installing cameras in heavily littered laybys to tackle this environmental crime that blights our local areas.”

The report going before the panel today can be found here