There’s tidy!

[Councillor Jess David(second from left), with volunteers from Friends of Moorland Park and B&NES Clean & Green team operatives]

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s one-off investment in a Clean and Green programme, has been helping to spruce up neighbourhoods across the district this year by boosting the graffiti removal service and increasing routine street cleansing.

The council’s Clean and Green teams have visited every ward in B&NES, completing 25 ‘action weeks’ responding to requests from councillors and residents.  The most common request dealt with by the Clean and Green Cleansing Team is for weed removal, because the council is no longer using chemical weedkiller, but they have also been litter picking and since October they have also been clearing leaves.  

They work alongside the Clean and Green Response team, which handles all the requests on the council’s Report It page. The team has handled more than 675 requests, resolving the majority while in the area and passing roughly 10% to other council teams to action.

More than 80% of the requests were about overhanging vegetation in the council’s parks and green spaces, but the team has also dealt with overhanging vegetation which was blocking the visibility of signs or road junctions. They have also been busy cleaning road signs particularly those in Peasedown St John, Clutton, Farmborough and Keynsham.

In addition, the Clean and Green team has been working with community volunteer groups, schools and local councillors to organise community action days to help tackle problem areas.

To date, 15 action events have taken place locally including at Temple Cloud, Weston, Whitchurch, Larkhall and partners have included Weston Wombles and Weston Resident Associations, Friends of Moorland Park, Keynsham Wombles, Farrans Construction and the University of Bath Performance Rugby Squad. Several local schools have also organised events including Royal High Bath, Paulton Junior School, Bathwick St Mary’s Church School, Chandag Junior School and St John’s Primary School in Oldfield Park.

Councillor Kevin Guy, leader of the council, said: “The additional funding and the hard work of everyone involved is helping to make B&NES a better place to live, work and visit. We would like to say a big thank to all the organisations and volunteers who are helping to keep B&NES clean and green and to growing number of regular volunteers who are organising and joining litter picks. So far this year we have collected more than 102 bags of litter and 45 bags of street weeds during community events, which is a remarkable achievement.”

Weed removal kits have been lent to communities for residents to borrow. A group of volunteers from St Michael’s Church in Twerton has been making use of the weed removal equipment and is meeting on the first Tuesday of every month to litter pick and remove weeds along Twerton High Street. The Resident Association in Bathwick has also been holding a litter pick and weed removal session most Saturdays, whilst the Chew Magna No Place For Litter hub has been busy lending out weed removal equipment to volunteers who have been clearing weeds around the parish flower beds and outside the Chew Magna fire station.

If you would like to borrow the weed removal equipment, you can email your local No Place For Litter hub. The details are on the council website.

The recruitment of an additional graffiti removal officer funded by Clean and Green has allowed the council to offer free graffiti removal for domestic properties and provided a new truck fitted out with the necessary equipment.

The council’s Highways team also benefitted from clean and Green funding, which has paid for additional gulley cleaning. In the last three years the team averaged 15,675 gully cleans a year and are on course to clean 24,442 this year.

Residents can find out more about the Clean and Green project, how to get involved, or request graffiti removal from a property on the council’s website. There are also several short videos showing the Clean and Green cleansing and response teams at work, on the council’s YouTube channel.

Public highway or cleansing issues can be reported on the council’s Report it page.