Residents and businesses look set to be asked to do more to help keep Uckfield looking smart.
The call for people to do “their bit” will come from the town council which is considering whether to employ an environmental warden/street cleaner.
The town council’s budgets are under great pressure – as are all local authorities – and councillors are worried at the potential costs of employing and equipping a new member of staff.
Councillors have agreed to ask community associations and groups in the town to help build on the work of Brighter Uckfield (logo above).
It will also write to the Chamber of Commerce to seek support of its members.
A survey will be undertaken of the paths and twittens in the town to establish how great a mileage would need to be kept clean.
It is possible that a part-time role to take in street cleaning will be established.
Costs to employ street cleaner
Councillors were given a range of costs when they discussed the issue: wages and other employment costs plus the purchase of equipment. Brooms, litter pickers and a hand-cart would cost £1,200 while a sweeping machine could cost around £45,000.
Added to the cost of a machine would be disposal charges for rubbish plus fuel and maintenance costs.
Town mayor, Cllr Ian Smith, said both Crowborough and Hailsham had a person responsible for dealing with litter.
“It is about time the town council did bite this particular bullet. Brighter Uckfield is based on volunteer effort and can only concentrate on the town centre.
“There are other areas which need attention and this would allow this to happen,” Cllr Smith said. He added the role could also include “keeping an eye” on other environmental issues around the town.
‘Adopt a street’
Cllr Alan Whittaker said the town council could end up spending £80,000 to do what was really Wealden District Council’s work. He pointed out a council employee could not clear litter on private land, which many of the twittens were.
Cllr Mick Harker said: Brighter Uckfield is a huge benefit to the town and makes a huge difference. Other countries have ‘adopt a street or frontages’ schemes.”
Councillors said the need for street cleaning/litter picking stretched throughout the town and said any work would need to cover all areas.