Chapel Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Problems of litter removal, cleansing, overgrown weeds and fly-tipping in Sefton are about to be tackled thanks to a £1.7million hit list. 

Sefton Council has recognised the growing problems with shabby looking streets across the borough by investing in 14 new cleansing staff and new equipment. 

Sefton Council Head of Operational In-House Services Michelle Williams said in her report: “During 2021 it was raised by Cabinet that the local environmental quality of the borough did not meet expected standards in terms of litter removal, frequency of mechanical cleansing, addressing weed growth and timely removal of fly tipping predominantly within rear alley entries. “An uplift in revenue budget was agreed to enable an increased focus on the workstreams that required improvement.”

Councillors are set to agree to spending around £210,000 for the purchase of an additional large mechanical sweeper and three manually operated street cleansing sweeping machines.

There will also be a substantial investment in new staff, with a new Street Cleansing Manager, a new Street Cleansing Officer, two Drivers, one HGV driver, three Street Cleansing Operatives, two Seasonal Street Cleansing Operatives, and four Waste Collection Operatives. 

There will be an additional £40,000 for additional weed spraying activities to tackle rear alleyways and other ad-hoc requirements which are outside the scope of the current contract.

There will also be a £25,000 uplift to the Bulky Household Waste Collection Budget. 

Michelle Williams said in her report: “In addition to the pressures placed upon the service during the pandemic, there has also been a level of instability within the management structure over the past 2 year period. 

“A number of officers have resumed ‘acting up’ roles to ensure continued service delivery. However, the focus has been on operational day-to-day delivery as the management capacity to undertake service review and development has been unavailable. 

“A new Service Manager for Waste Management & Street Cleansing is now in post. “Furthermore, there has been a historic reliance upon the utilisation of street cleansing operatives to undertake waste collection duties, therefore diluting the resource provision of the service and resulting in a reduced standard of service offer.

“It is proposed that the budget uplift be utilised to improve the Street Cleansing offer through a combination of increased mechanisation in addition to an increase in staff resource across both the Waste Management and Street Cleansing disciplines.” 

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