Newark town centre day of action deals with ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’
A DAY of action to clean and tidy Newark town centre has revealed a tale of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’.
Newark and Sherwood District Council’s waste management, grounds maintenance and public protection teams had a productive day dealing with a range of environmental issues as part of the Cleaner, Safer and Greener initiative and to help provide a boost to the local economy through increased tourism.
The ‘good’ involved an extensive programme of works, including street cleaning and planting, that was carried out by council staff in partnership with the Totally Locally business community, Newark in Bloom and Newark Town Council.
The ‘bad’ was highlighted by the issues of anti-social behaviour involving street drinkers and their antics which have been dealt with promptly by the council’s public protection team.
Among the ‘ugly’ was the fact that in the lead up to the Day of Action, more than 100 cases of graffiti were cleared away by one of the council’s specialist teams and a further seven on the day itself.
The removal of illegal graffiti was high on the day’s agenda and will continue to be under the council’s newly-approved Graffiti Policy. Among the work tackled by the council’s leisure and environment chairman Councillor Roger Jackson was the removal of an unsightly, spray can scrawl on a wall on Church Walk. The council’s leader Councillor David Lloyd also joined the effort to scrub away deviant artwork from around the town and to assist with the litter pick.
Creating and maintaining safer communities has been a key focus for the council and its four-strong Community Protection officer team dealt with a range of crime and enforcement issues that compromise the safety of residents.
One-off government funding has been allocated to councils across the country as part of a nationwide scheme designed to make sure high streets look their best and thrive, amid what has been described as a challenging time for high-street retailers as online spending increases.
Councillor Lloyd said: “We want our town centres looking at their very best and following the success of the three days of action we held during the Cleaner, Safer and Greener campaign, this concerted programme of action in Newark town centre has produced some excellent results.
“Our waste management teams are ‘on it’ and deal with litter issues quickly so the town centre is generally in good shape but we also need to drive home the message that it is everyone’s responsibility to look after the environment, not just the council’s. My thanks to all involved for all their hard work in helping to maintain the town as a great place in which to live, work and visit."
During the day, and in the weeks leading up to the concerted programme of action, the council’s teams:
• Deep cleansed, with mechanical road sweepers, the zone bordered by Sherwood Avenue, Queen’s Road, Castlegate and London Road.
• Cleared away more than 100 pieces of graffiti from walls, fibre boxes and doors, specifically in the Lincoln Road and Yorke Drive areas. An additional seven lots of graffiti were removed today.
• As part of routine maintenance, our waste management operatives cleared away litter and debris, starting at 6am.
• Organised a litter pick involving volunteers from the Totally Locally business community. Items found included a broken off bike padlock, a purse and hypodermic syringe
• Removed flyposting from walls and shopfronts.
• Installed two new vinyls on empty shopfronts in Cartergate and Stodman Street to help promote the economic vibrancy of the town.
• Changed all litter bins in the lead up to the day.
• Painted all street furniture in the town centre - work carried out by Newark Town Council staff.
• Removed 2.5 tonnes of waste.
• Planted, in the Church Gardens area, 100 plants.
• Tidied St Mary Magdalene Churchyard.
• Shifted one tonne of green waste after extensive weeding, including Beastmarket Hill and outside the Ossington, Riverside, Otter Park and Church Gardens.
• Served a community protection warning on a persistent street drinker.
• Moved on two groups of street drinkers outside Church Gardens.
• Removed human excrement found at Riverside and Water Lane.
• Followed up complaints from residents regarding street drinkers causing a nuisance on Riverside/Castle Walk, near the Wharf, who had been going to the toilet in public.
• Liaised with new business units in the Buttermarket to deal with anti-social behaviour.
• Spoken with pubs regarding carelessly discarded cigarette butts
In the last year, the council has organised three days of action in different locations across the district in partnership with the police and other agencies to build a sense of pride, well-being and the desire to maintain a clean environment.