My View, Ros Jones: Latest gear will help clear up borough

Litter and bins
Litter and bins
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Spring is here and the council’s grass cutting, grounds maintenance and street cleaning service is having a spring clean too.

The cleanliness of our borough is important to residents and businesses so we’re taking action to improve results, while saving taxpayers’ money.

When I became Mayor, equipment spent too long in the workshop instead of being out in the borough. We’re putting an end to that and delivering more for less.

We have done away with Doncaster’s inefficient old street cleaning and grass cutting equipment. It’s being replaced with more cost effective and reliable vehicles, including 16 road sweepers, 12 ride-on mowers, three tractors, a ‘spider-mower’ for use on grass slopes and new snow-plough attachments to enhance the winter service. The faster equipment will deliver better results and it means the council can operate with 75 fewer items, reducing maintenance costs.

We’re introducing a seven-day service too and it will still save the taxpayer more than £1.3million.

We are also about to introduce two totally new types of vehicle into the service. There’s a ‘hot-wash’ vehicle which scrubs and cleans footpaths and pedestrian areas.

You may also spot our new ‘multi-hog’ vehicle, introduced to deliver an improved pot-hole service. It can also be used as a snow plough or in grounds maintenance operations.

We must also tackle the causes of some problems, particularly littering. There are still irresponsible litter louts causing problems, leaving an unsightly mess. That’s why we’ve introduced a new enforcement service to support our officers, and it is already paying dividends.

The service involves six staff who can work at any time, seven days a week. They have already issued Fixed Penalty Notices for more than 1,300 littering offences. Where necessary we are also taking people to court for non-payment.

We aren’t just issuing fines in the town centre either. This must be a borough-wide service to support all our communities. The service has been successfully patrolling in places like Rossington, Adwick, Armthorpe, Edenthorpe, Marr, Clay Lane, Cusworth, Dunscroft, Bessacarr and Conisbrough, to name just a few.

Finally, when it comes to litter, people often raise concerns about the green recycling boxes. On windy collection days, too much rubbish finds its way on to our streets rather than into the bin lorry. I agree. I have therefore promised to introduce recycling wheelie bins next year when a new waste contract comes into force.

In a recent consultation the vast majority of residents said that is what they wanted, so that is what we will deliver.