Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Litter, waste and street cleaning in Launceston

This evening saw a special meeting of the Launceston Community Network panel on the subject of litter, waste and street cleaning.

There was a good turnout from members of the public and two of the contract management officers from the Council came along to explain the new system and answer questions.

As readers will know, the new waste and recycling contract had a lot of problems at the start. Many people didn't get their bins emptied for more than two months and thousands more were left without recycling containers.

Thankfully, most of those problems have now been sorted - but there is a lot of concern about dog mess, fly-tipping and street cleaning.

The good news is that the town centre is now very clean indeed. There are two people whose job it is to clean it on a daily basis - seven days a week. Everyone at tonight's meeting was complimentary about the job they are doing.

The trouble is that this contrasts markedly with the lack of cleaning elsewhere. Although Cory have been doing a lot of street cleaning in the past two weeks or so, many people at the meeting complained that they hadn't seen their streets cleaned before that since April.

Apart from the very town centre, all the residential streets in Launceston are classed as being in Zone two. These streets should be visited at least every six weeks and cleaned if they need it (and after six weeks, they certainly will do). The trouble is that I do not believe that Cory have been doing that until very recently. I have therefore asked the officers to provide proof that Cory have been cleaning when they should be. If they have not been doing so then I will be asking for Cory to be heavily fined.

But the point was also made that there are many very busy streets - such as Western Road, Tavistock Road, Race Hill and so on - where a six weekly clean is nothing like enough. They might not justify the daily attention of a zone one street, but should certainly be visited on a weekly basis. We have asked the council to look at improving the cleaning regime there.

A further complaint was about Cory staff not cleaning up after themselves as they are meant to. Bottles dropped on the pavement during recycling collections leave shards of glass dangerous to children and pets and damaging to mobility scooters. Communal bins need cleaning every time they are emptied. We asked for better action to make sure that the contractor is doing the job they are being paid for.

The officers have agreed to take these and other points raised tonight away to be fixed. They will be coming back to the annual network meeting in the Town Hall in early February to report back and - hopefully - to be told that things have got better.

In the meantime, if you believe that your street needs cleaning, contact me and I will make sure it happens.

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