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Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime (W13)

Cuts

Portfolio: Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio

Description

To reduce the amount of street cleaning carried out across the Borough to what is the statutory minimum and to stop carrying out any environmental crime enforcement.  The Council has a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure so far as reasonably practicable “footpaths and the highway are free from litter”. The proposals to reduce the service below are a judgement of what is believed to be the minimum level of resource to meet the Council’s duty. The reduction in street cleaning is Borough-wide however the town centre and arterial roads into town will continue to be prioritised. The main reason for this being there is a risk of lost revenue from rents and business rates if the standard of the town centre affects the occupancy of the buildings. 

The details of the reductions are set out below, which will have the overall impact of increasing the amount of litter, dog fouling, fly tipping and other environmental crime across the Borough. 

Services for street cleaning will be reduced as follows:

  • Reduce Large Mechanical Sweepers to one from two
    Impact: Frequency of mechanical sweeping would half, which would have an impact on litter and detritus within the road channels.  Also potentially impacting on blocked gullies.  
    Existing frequency: Main roads into town and the town centre are all swept at least weekly. The rest of the road network is swept on a five-weekly programme.
    Frequency following cuts:  Main roads into town and the town centre are swept fortnightly. The rest of the road network is swept on a ten-weekly programme.
  • Town Centre Cleansing – reduce from two staff to one
    Impact: Reducing the resource in the town centre from two members of staff to one will have significant impact on litter throughout the town centre and town centre fringe.  
    Existing frequency: Town centre and fringes maintained by two members of staff throughout the day.
    Frequency following cuts: Town centre will be maintained by one member of staff only throughout the day. 
  • Stop the operation of the Town Centre Water Feature, which currently operates May to October
    Impact: During summer the water feature enhances the town centre.
  • Mechanical Path Sweepers – reduce from the current four to two
    Impact: Small mechanical path sweepers focus on the town centre, back lanes and general pavement sweeping across the Borough.  They have recently been reduced from six to four; a further reduction to two machines would see a significant reduction of standards across the town.
    Existing frequency: Currently one sweeper is dedicated to back lanes cleansing on a weekly basis, a second to the town centre and response work, the third sweeping front streets on a fortnightly basis in more heavily littered areas of town such as some of the terraced property areas, some of the social housing areas and generally others that are more heavily littered, and the fourth sweeper on a two-monthly programme visits the less littered areas across the Borough.
    Frequency following cuts: With only two path sweepers, back lane sweep and cleanse would be carried out on a fortnightly basis and the more littered front street areas on a monthly basis.  The town centre would continue to be swept daily with response work being carried out when resources available and no mechanical path sweeping in less littered areas of town.  
  • Litter Response/Litter and Dog Bin Emptying/Back Lane Cleanse – reduce from 11 staff to 6
    Impact: Currently there are three litter response crews carrying out a number of planned and responsive work, three dedicated staff to litter bin empty across the Borough and one back lane cleansing crew, which follows refuse collection.  This service would be significantly reduced to a team of six, two staff focusing on litter bin emptying therefore the number of litter bins across the Borough would need to be reduced and/or the frequency of emptying also reduced.  There would then be two crews to deal with all response work as well as back lane cleansing. These changes, alongside other proposals, will have a major impact on the cleanliness of the Borough. 
    Existing frequency: Litter/dog bins are currently emptied anywhere from daily (bins around the town centre) to weekly, with the majority being emptied twice per week.  Back lanes are currently cleansed weekly and fly tips removed within two days.  Response crews also have a significant number of weekly jobs supplementing other services. 
    Frequency following cuts: With only two members of staff for litter bin emptying, frequency will be reduced to weekly for all bins other than town centre alongside, where possible, reducing the number of bins.  Back lane cleanse will reduce from weekly to fortnightly, fly tipping response work will only be able to be carried out when resources are available. 
  • Manual Street Cleansing – reduce from six Street Scene Orderlies to three, reducing cleansing across the Borough
    Impact:  There are currently six street orderly litter rounds across the Borough where areas are attended to between weekly and fortnightly, this would change to between fortnightly and monthly, depending on the area and resources available.  
    Existing frequency:  There are currently six dedicated litter rounds with the majority of areas being visited once per week and the more heavily littered twice per week.  The six rounds in the following areas:
    • Eastbourne including Firthmoor, Lascelles and some of Bank Top
    • Skerne Park, Park East and some of Bank Top
    • Cockerton, some of Brinkburn & Faverdale and some of Pierremont
    • Northgate, College and some of Pierremont
    • Red Hall, Lingfield and some of Haughton & Springfield
    • North Road, Harrowgate Hill, some of Stephenson and some of Park East
      In addition to the above, on an ad-hoc basis as resources are available, Park West, some of Haughton & Springfield, some of Brinkburn & Faverdale, Mowden and Hummersknott as required.
      Frequency following cuts:  Each litter round will be cleansed on a fortnightly basis with the ad-hoc round getting minimal attention, only when resources are available.  
  • Environmental Crime Enforcement
    The Council would not carry out investigations into environmental crime, issue no fixed penalty notices or prosecutions through the court for fly tipping, abandoned vehicles, dog fouling, littering, refuse, graffiti and other associated environmental crime, therefore fly tipping would not be investigated, there would be no resource to deal with residents putting out bins in the wrong place or time, or leaving them on the pavement, or dealing with hot spot littering, dog fouling, etc. 
    Impact:  This will potentially have a major impact on the appearance of the environment and environmental crime will increase as there is no deterrent.

The cumulative impact of reducing street cleaning resources and stopping environmental crime enforcement will have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the environment across the Borough. 

This significant reduction in resources for street cleaning from currently 31 staff to 19, a reduction of 12 employees, 39% of the resource, would take out any resilience for sickness or holidays therefore for a significant proportion of the year standards would be worse and the absolute minimum.  In addition, currently the emptying of litter bins and street cleansing takes place on a weekend across the Borough as street cleansing is a seven-day service, this significant reduction in resource would impact on the ability to carry out this work with only limited resource being available to litter pick in the town centre on a weekend. 

One management post to be reduced as part of this proposal (Street Scene and Building Cleaning Manager) as well as all 3 employees within the Environmental Crime Enforcement Team leaving no resource in this area. 

The Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse within the EPA 1990 Section 89 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that “so far as reasonably practical, footpaths and highways are free from litter and clean”.  Individuals or legal persons have the right to take action via the Magistrate’s Court against those not complying with the duty to keep land clear of litter or refuse or highway clean.  If the Magistrate’s Court finds against the Council, it can then order that the land is cleaned.  Failure to comply is a criminal offence punishable by a maximum fine of £2,500.

Link

W13 Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime

Related FAQs

Won’t reduced street cleaning and grass cutting make the area look more unsightly and cause health issues?

Won’t reduced street cleaning and grass cutting make the area look more unsightly and cause health issues?

The Council has a legal duty to ensure as far as reasonably practical that footpaths and the highway are free from litter and that people do not come to harm when visiting parks and open spaces. Much of the work we have done in the past was well above what was legally required, but due to the increasing pressure on our budgets we are being forced to cut back on these services to minimum levels. It is sadly inevitable that there will be an impact and we would urge local residents, and visitors to the borough, to play their part in keeping the area tidy - use litter bins provided or take your litter home to dispose of it. Larger items can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or you can arrange for collection via the council. We would also welcome any ideas from voluntary and community groups about how they can get involved. Working together we can help keep Darlington a tidy and pleasant place in which to live, work and visit. 

How will you deal with increased litter/fly tipping?

How will you deal with increased litter/fly tipping?

The Council has a legal duty to ensure as far as reasonably practical that footpaths and the highway are free from litter and we will do our best to clear areas when issues are reported to us, although it may take longer. However, we would again urge local residents and visitors to the borough to play their part in keeping the area tidy. If there is an increase, we will remove the tipped waste, however this may take longer than previously has been the case. If there is a large increase we will look at further options to address the issue.

Your Say

19 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal

Comment

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

No. The state of the streets and footpaths is already disgusting. It should not be allowed to deteriorate further

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

that water feature was your pet project at huge cost and now you're going to turn it off...money well spent eh?

why bother with litter picking at all. by they time everyone fly tips, dumps rubbish and drops litter everywhere the borough will look like an almighty landfill site so you might as we save a bit more money on the token effort you propose.

Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

It is short sighted to entirely close a dwepartment.
one simple example, but there are numerous, as you know, _ Parks and Open spaces team set to go totally. This is worse than it was years ago. Street Scene cannot takeover . They have a smaller team and not the knowledge or skills.
Good summer meadows can be fantastic, but letting grass grow long and seed attracts dogs, foxes, rats, litter,broken glass, and cannot be sold to a farmer at the end of a season. More importantly, parks cut grass areas for leisure, play, recreation spaces cannot be lost when its the health provider for many families who do not have cars or gardens.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Where else can they be a game of 'jumpers for goalposts' set up?
Councillors Short sightedness can ruin lives, especially in disadvantaged areas. Protect these areas.
Closing whole offices -What will happen to all the historic records ??????? Peoples desks/records and information will be lost in many cases, Theyb won't care as much if they are leaving. Protect these things.-the expertise and knowledge, experience etc will be gone and darlington will be much worse off for that.
Losing Enforcement [environment] means that the villains of fly tipping and dog fouling, or walking dogs on school grounds or cemeteries will take over and ruin the town. This is a ridiculous decision to make. Keep that post. It pays to in many ways.

Just because something is not a statutory requirement does not mean it has to go in it's entirety. I am not certain all of the councillors are familiar with how these things work at the council AND in practice. If they do, they will re-consider and act more responsibly, looking to the future being based on the past, not lose the past! It cannot be recovered. Ensure it is safely recorded and remembered for posterity.

The market can be run by some other organisation, it prob should have for many years, but the Library building should not be lost. It IS the jewel in the crown of the town. Sacrilege to let it go...any any priice.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

According to BQ (Business Quarter) November 2015 Darlington is prospering as ‘Its performance is being recognised at the highest levels, with a recent RBS report showing that Darlington had the best performing North East economy for the third consecutive quarter, beating all UK regional averages outside London’. The Chief Executive believes that ‘It is such an exciting time to be in and around Darlington’.
This is not a picture recognised by the ordinary residents of the town.

Joseph Pease built the Old Town Hall in 1853 as a gift to the town, and later added the clock tower and covered market in 1864 at a cost of £16,356 8s 9d. Edward Pease left £10,000 in his will which resulted in the opening of the Crown Street Library in 1885. According to BQ our leaders appreciate Darlington’s heritage ‘We have our forefathers to thank for the way Darlington has evolved so far and for some of the beautiful assets they left us Places like South Park, Crown Street Library, the Civic Theatre, Lingfield Point and the market square are gifts and it is out responsibility as a town to respect them, but also to innovate and make sure they can be used by future generations’.

Nine years ago the Council decided that the High Row needed modernising. They did not take any notice of the public outcry against their plans. The paving used needs cleaning regularly - at what cost?. The steps are dangerous and they are certainly not going to last a hundred years. The water feature has been expensive to maintain but that will be solved by having a water feature without water.

The multi-storey car park went over budget.

The latest project is the upgrading of the Civic Theatre which all sounded wonderful until we realised that it is not being funded entirely by the Lottery but the Council have to make a contribution. So it is proposed that any proceeds from the sale of our beloved Crown Street Library are to be put towards the shortfall. It seems that the scheme is too ambitious at the expense of our library. Also, as pointed out in a letter to the Northern Echo on February 13th, there appear to be design problems as the architects do not seem to have taken into account the need for an entrance in Borough Road and that the removal of the aisles could cause a serious nuisance. Two shops have been bought in order to create a cafe but who is going to go all the way to the Civic Theatre when there are so many in the town centre (shortly there will be even more in the Feethams development). How much is it going to cost to keep the theatre complex open all day ?

I understand that people will have strong feelings about all the cuts particularly if they affect them but I cannot believe that anyone could even contemplate selling the Crown Street library. Some people say it is only a building but surely it is as important historically as the theatre perhaps even more so.

If both the Crown Street Library and the Indoor Market are lost to the town I wonder what future editions of BQ will have to say.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

The Council will be short sighted to make redundant the Environmental Crime Officer . Fly tipping has been increasing since charges were put on bulky waste collections. I have frequently reported 'tipping' incidents near my property. The officer has actively followed up my reports and has warned and prosecuted some of the culprits. How is this going to happen in future? The Police would not cope with it... they don't even respond quickly to crimes and asb in our experience.
I cannot agree with your intentions regarding this work.
It is a crime in itself to neglect the environmental health of the area.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Surely, you cannot make be believe that ending all enforcement relating to Street Cleaning will save money ?
If done right, such enforcement will bring much needed income in to offset the cost of cleaning as well as reducing the need to clean in the first place.
Also, as you have now published that all enforcement will stop - therefore the back lanes will soon be full of dumped household refuse with complete impunity, and inveterate litter droppers and irresponsible dog owners will also be allowed to continue, making the job of cleaning the streets that much harder

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Whilst I appreciate the backdrop is very difficult and the council is rightly highlighting the follow of government policy there one or two areas in the proposals I feel qualified to comment on. Having recently lost my mother I found the response with regard to council tax to be very quick but some of the processes seemed a bit outadated. For example when the direct debit was cancelled a letter AND a bill was generated. There was one further bill showing a final bill and an exemption in addition to the final bill. I known this is only about fifty pence for the postage and a few pennies for the paper but against all the transactions you do this will all add up. Plus the fact a cheque was issued to excors of despite the fact the bank account was closed. Which meant more contact and another cheque being sent - more avoidable expense. I don't see why I couldn't just provide my bank details and have a payment put in there. Regarding the propasl to carry out NO enforcement regarding flytipping at the same time as cutting back on resources to remove it this is utter madness. Darlington will become a flytippers paradise once there is no deterrant and this will not do anything to support the local economy (so if the council did get a bigger cut of busines rates going forward then flytipping everywhere might dampen trade somewhat). It seems to me a more prudent appraoch would be, if the fines aren't sufficent to cover the cost of such posts, to lobby the government to increase the take councils recieve from a successful prosecution. It seems bizarre indeed that councils get to keep revenue from parking tickets (which people hate) but not massive fines handed out to people prosecuted for flytipping (scm whom nobody would shed a tear for). There is a massive issue with flytipping now WITH enforement going on. The inevitable increase will lead to the savings proposed from reductions in other areas not being realized as the workload will increase. I know you are very limited in your room for manouvre thanks to the governments fantasy economics, but still there are some holes in what is proposed. I have lived in Darlington all my life and never wanted to leave, these proposal fill me with so much dread I will be forced to consider other towns when looking to buy a house.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Whilst I understand much of the cuts proposed by the council are forced on them by the governments brutal reductions to local government funding there is one I simply cannot get my head around. To get rid of the streetscene enforcement team will mean Darlington will be come a flytippers paradise. I'm not that concerned about people dropping litter or leaving the odd black bag out - streetscene can probably cope with that. However what does concern me is the fact that, as soon as they get wind of it, certain traders will realize there will be no consequences whatsoever they will engaged in more flytipping. There is already an issue with flytipping in the town WITH enforcement activities. I cannot imagine what the level will go up to when all those who don't bother to register for a waste carriers licence know there won't even be any investigation, let alone enforcement, of such occurances. This coupled with a reduction in the number of streetscene staff makes for a lethal cocktail. I fail to see how this will support businesses looking to move to the are or indeed encourage residents like me who have lived here all their life to stay. I don't know enough about the figures to know where else the money can e foudn but I believe I'm right in saying the saving was in the order of £300,000. I amdubious if it will actually be a saving as there will be MORE work for LESS staff to do in clearing flytips. Equally in Streets near me there are people who overfill their bins or just leave them out all the time. Again no action, not even a friendly note, will be taken. This is a minor issue compared to those who flytip on an industrial scale but once word spreads it may get worse. I am looking to purchase in the property in the area, something I never expected to be in a position to do, and this cut more than any other makes me want to look elsewhere. Shocking words from a lifelong Darlingtonian but that's just the way I feel. I don't expect an individual response as I can well imagine you are swamped, but I wanted to raise this with you as my elected representatives in the event of a vote or your opinion (s) being sought.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Dear sir, I am dismayed to learn about the proposed cutbacks to our town, including proposed removal of environmental crime enforcement and support for environmental groups in Darlington. These services have taken years to build up and become established, particularly environmental groups, and I do think it these proposals for the town are a dire backward step.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

As a street champion and someone who despises litter of any sort I am horrified at the thought of even less street cleaning etc. in the town. The problem is bad enough now so goodness only knows how much worse it potentially could be. I know it is the public who make the mess but the lesson of picking up your own litter, not fly tipping etc seems lost on them. So the council have to respond. I appreciate it isn’t easy but somehow we must find a way to work together to clean up at all times. Otherwise the town and surrounding areas are going to look awful and more litter, fly tipping etc I firmly believe just generates more. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

One of your proposals is to reduce the amount of litter picking. The town centre now is a filthy uninviting place. How on earth do you think you are going to attract people to it if it is even more filthy, particularly when there are so many empty shops. Darlington just seems to be a town of phone shops and cheap nasty pound shops. I go to Northallerton now or Teesside Park to shop as Darlington is now a dump.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

The current proposals for Council cuts of £11, 000,000.0 give a clear indication that they are aimed at the very core of Public responsibility for our Town and its dignity. As a Street Champion of over 8 years and a Snow Patrol co-ordinator for my ( no snow as yet but it will arrive ) local community, there is a pride in offering this free service to maintain the local area in good and tidy order. This means constant pick-up litter teams forming together to work for our local community and not see it degraded by the few who couldn't care less if it were to be turned into one complete dustbin. I think you , as our Council , see us as the soft option for us to carry on merrily doing your work for free, while you ring your hands and continue to draw your expenses without any thought for where the money comes from or any co-ordinated thinking regarding planning a budget or accepting the fact that you have , over the years drained the well dry . You are too late with your platitudes and patronising lip service. It's time for you to take a long hard look at yourselves and account for your hopeless mismanagement of budgets over many years. George Orwell got it bang to rights in Animal Farm, when the pigs started to do deals for JAM and learned to walk on Two Legs. You cannot treat the people who provide the monies for your over paid salaries and expenses, projects which go wrong and cost millions to put right, penny pinching by cutting street cleaning etc.etc, and expect them to fork out once again to cover your inability to manage within a budget, because you cannot take out more than what is coming in. THAT IS THE FIRST RULE OF GOOD MANAGEMENT AND SIMPLE ACCOUNTANCY. By enforcing these paltry cuts to our environmental services you are subjecting the inhabitants of this town to a second rate quality of life, you are destroying the culture of this town, a town of Historical Importance not just to Britain, but to the world. Where is your PRIDE AND DIGNITY. Have you already forgotten the comments that the Duke of York made with reference to the Northern approaches of our town by Rail. His first impression was not of praise but one of RIDICULE. THINK AGAIN. ARE YOU PROUD OF THE EROSION OF OUR TOWN CENTRE. Ask yourselves what first impressions our visitors receive when they are confronted with the litter of cardboard coffee cups, polystyrene food boxes, plastic bottles, chewing gum, the stink of cigarette smoke, tab ends kicking about and the dreary sight of closed and empty shops. Look at your neighbours such as Richmond, Yarm, Northallerton and Barnard Castle. The all can teach you a lesson in Civic Pride, Self Respect and the Confidence of the people they represent. Particularly those who who keep the pavements clean, the flower beds to catch the eye of the visitors and the feeling of well being.

Core LLE14 (Street Cleansing)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

The saddest day for Darlington was when it was made a unitary authority. Money has been wasted on unnecessary projects - such as remodelling the town centre and making it look just like everywhere else. Wouldn't matter so much if it didn't detract from providing the essentials. Now the new plans mean we will be living in a huge un-managed litter bin. Great idea!!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE13 (Refuse and Recycling Collection and Waste Disposal)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

1 Retain Crown St library. Use the space earmarked within the Dolphin Centre to provide office accommodation for DAD and CAB etc. This would reduce their running costs and allow for the renting out of their original offices. 2 Reduce the costs and red tape of refuse disposal in order to help reduce the higher costs of cleaning up fly tipping and subsequent legal action. 3 Increase the area of responsibility of each councilor and thereby reducing the cost of councilors.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Letter about the the proposals for the library, street cleaning and wages

Documents


Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

I have complained to the council about the proposed cuts, and how they are going to impact on our country lanes if people are not prosecuted for fly tipping. This photograph is of a dead horse which was dumped in Newbiggin Lane, near Heighington. We are obviously going to have more of these incidents, and more litter cluttering up our rural areas if cuts are made, and fly tipping becomes a free for all.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

We feel strongly about the new proposals for the abandonment of enforcement of fines for fly tipping . My husband regularly reports fly tipping in and around the lanes in Heighington.He picks up a bin bag of litter every day while walking the dog. Litter begets more litter. If people think they can get away with dumping household &garden rubbish we will end up living in a landfill site very quickly . We moved here 10 years ago because of the beautiful countryside and have seen a large increase in litter thrown out of cars (mainly Mcdonalds wrappers and cans )as well as fly tipping . Please keep enforcing the risk of fines to deter these ignorant people from spoiling the environment for other people.

Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

I have read many emails from disgruntled villagers, and from fellow parish chairs re fly tipping; it seems the issue is getting worse day by day. I am dismayed to hear about the forthcoming cuts that would affect many other departments, including street scene and the fly tipping department. On a personal issue, we take pride in our rural villages, we organise litter picking with the help of street scene as they provide the items needed, but the rubbish is collected by us, the villagers. Our roads, paths and green area are littered every day, which results in me contacting the council to arrange a collection. Street scene are very efficient, and the rubbish is collected very quickly. It is quite sad that Darlington will become a "dirty" place, people will continue to leave rubbish, and then possibly once they are aware that enforcement will not be in place, even more may be dumped. I appreciate cuts have to happen, and i am sure that other avenues have been explored, but please let me express my concerns on behalf of myself and our villagers.

Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

One of the most fundamental rights and expectations from a civilised country is to live in a clean and pleasant environment. The cutbacks identified in the Borough’s MTFP proposes a dramatic reduction on our Street Scene Team plus the loss of 4 members from our Environmental Crime Enforcement which will result in less town centre litter picking, dog fouling, fly tipping recycling, road cleaning, grass cutting and a total loss of Environmental Enforcement. The result of these cutbacks “will have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the Borough” as stated in the Core Offer Budget. The reductions will increase the number of complaints, lower the quality of life for Darlington residents, influence tourism and potentially have a negative effect on our ability to attract inward investment to improve our local economy. This must not happen. In the first place DBC must push ahead to bring in a professional organisation to impose Fixed Penalty Notices on people seen dropping litter. Street Scene would manage the organisation and control its operation. .This simple operation would be a positive move to reduce littering and would actually bring cash into the Town Hall. Secondly maintain our Environmental Team. Between them they have worked closely with residents from across the Borough gaining the trust of many to such an extent that we have over 400 Street Champions, 200+ volunteers who tend our green spaces and this year over 700 people took part in the Big Spring Clean - 1300 volunteers keeping our streets clean, reporting environment incidents and generally working for the good of our community. Volunteers who take pride in their community, volunteers who have answered the call to help keep our Town clean and volunteers who will be let down should the Officers be made redundant and as Darlington will lose this incredible free work force the streets will be the worse for it. In approximate financial terms the town would also loose the following if the volunteers were paid:- Assume that every litter Volunteer worked 2 hours – many worked longer 1400 Assume that remaining volunteers work only one house per week 600 x 1 x 50 30,000 Total man hours 31400 Cost per voluntary man hour £7.00 £219,800 Given the importance of keeping our Town clean should there be a choice of supporting Street Crossing Patrols or Street Scene I would recommend the latter. I appreciate that this will be controversial but most young people are either transported to school by bus or car or escorted by a parent. Those that do walk tend to be the older young people. If there are any specific dangerous crossing places. I am sur that with the right attitude, parents could organise themselves to provide a Crossing patrol.