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REGULAR street cleaning and litter collection is going to be a thing of the past as Wiltshire Council cuts begin to bite.
Wiltshire Council is switching to what it calls a ‘needs-based’ system for dealing with litter collection, road sweeping, fly posting and graffiti, fly tipping, highway defects, drainage problems, and the clearing of dead animals, dog mess and needles and syringes. It will rely on local groups and the general public to report issues before they are dealt with.
The council is expected to continue the ‘needs-based service’ until at least April 2016, when a new £15million highways contract is expected to begin. The cut to environmental services comes after the council’s contract with Balfour Beatty Living Places was cut short earlier this year.
The council will continue scheduled work such as grass and hedge cutting, emptying public bins, and controlling weeds.
Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for highways at Wiltshire Council said, “We are moving to a needs based service until at least 1 April 2016, which means we will continue to deal with issues when they arise, rather than inspecting areas which may not need any action.
“This is particularly relevant over the winter months when the amount of litter reduces significantly. It is up to the contractor to decide how it manages its staff in order to deliver this service, and this may include using more mechanised services. We are currently assessing all of our services over the winter to identify needs and priorities while we go through the budget setting process for next year.
“How we deliver future services will depend on the budget available following the widely publicised government funding reductions and ongoing pressures on the council’s budget.
“We would support any parish or town council or interested group in their efforts to enhance the level of service the council will be able to provide. As part of this move to a needs-based service, we would encourage individuals, councils and organisations to report any issues through the My Wiltshire app, the website or by calling 0300 456 0105.”
To report an environmental issue online go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk