A £900,000 blitz on grotty streets in Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings is to be carried out - and people are being called to report the areas that need extra attention.
South Kesteven District Council announced the major programme for street cleaning at the end of last week and is now 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.
Cabinet member for environment Peter Moseley (Con) said: “The next few weeks are about pooling our knowledge about what areas we need to tackle.
“Submitting an area for us to look at is really easy – you just need to drop a pin in the map on our website.
“Once the clean starts you’ll be able to follow our progress on the site and if you enter your e-mail address we’ll be able to update you personally when we get to your area.
“District, county, town and parish councillors have been contacted to play their part and many are pledging their support to help our efforts in their communities.
“We’re really keen for people to join us on our drive to raise the street standard and make our villages and towns nicer places to live in and visit.”
The Big Clean was launched in response to calls from residents to improve litter and cleanliness.
The district council 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.
Coun 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 for buy the necessary equipment and vehicles.
Coun Moseley said it was important the community got involved in the effort.
He added: “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!”
When the project went before full council earlier this month, members were unanimous in their support for it, but Grantham councillor Charmaine Morgan raised concerns that Grantham could be ignored because it does not have a town council to be consulted.
Council leader Matthew Lee (Con), who represents the Stamford St Mary’s ward, 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.”
l Information on where litter, weeds, fly-tipping, graffiti and broken street furniture need to be tackled can be reported online at www.southkesteven.gov.uk/skbigclean or by calling 01476 406066.
Volunteers are encouraged to register on the website so the council can let them know what has happened in their area and invite them to get involved. Registering is not mandatory.
The council will also be issuing regular updates on social media, using #SKBigClean
n Once you’ve reported your grot spots to the district council, tell the Mercury as well - and we’ll make sure it gets tidied up! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us on Twitter: @Mercury1712 or visit www.facebook.com/rutlandandstamfordmercury