Give us hit squad to tackle Peterborough litter blight

Litter around GN Cottages at Millfield. EMN-160318-180320009

Litter around GN Cottages at Millfield. EMN-160318-180320009

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A hit squad targeting litter hotspots is one of several recommendations to smarten up Peterborough’s appearance.

The blight of litter and fly-tipping have pushed city councillors to recommend a new two-man team which would focus on some of the messiest streets in Peterborough.

Further recommendations include a trial to move cars so a sweeper can pick up bits of rubbish which the vehicles may be blocking.

The trial would start on a single street - Oxford Road, Millfield - with residents informed beforehand on which days they would need to move their cars.

Councillor Keith Sharp, one of six councillors on a Task and Finish Group which made the recommendations, said: “There are specific areas that we need to target and we need people to react when we need them to get it clean.

“We think that’s important, but we also think it’s important to follow it up with education and enforcement.”

The two-man hit squad, if introduced, would target areas such as Russell Street and Gladstone Street in Central Ward, suggested Cllr Sharp, Liberal Party member for Dogsthorpe.

The Task and Finish Group was set up last month to review the contract signed by Amey with Peterborough City Council to carry out street cleaning services.

Cllr John Peach, Conservative member for Park Ward, who is on the group, said there used to be a hit squad operating in the city, and that he would welcome its return.

“We need to start somewhere,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of the public really behave worse than animals.”

Amey charges for the work it does per metre of land, and one of the group’s recommendations is to see if it would bring that charge down if the council gave it more work.

Other recommendations include increasing enforcement against littering (and to publish fines) and for councillors to pro-actively support volunteer groups in their areas to carry out litter picks.

A council scrutiny committee will consider the recommendations on Tuesday. If they endorse them they will be passed onto the Conservative-run cabinet for consideration.