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High streets refresh welcomes Christmas shoppers

10 December 2021 : Council news, Community, Environment

Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council has completed an enhanced high street cleaning programme in partnership with cleansing contractor, Idverde, to attract shoppers and help businesses thrive over the festive period.

The operation lasted twelve weeks covering town centres and other high footfall areas in Minehead, Taunton, Watchet, Wellington and Wiveliscombe.

The work was undertaken using the same street cleaning vehicle used to prepare Taunton when co-hosting the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Impressed by the results achieved in 2019, Executive Member for Environmental Services, Cllr Andy Sully, requested the same vehicle be rehired to cleanse the district’s towns ahead of the festive trading period.

The multi-function cleaning vehicle used applies wetting, soaping and scrubbing simultaneously to all types of surfaces using a non-aggressive process.

Powered by ethanol with low noise and exhaust emissions, the vehicle features a wastewater recovery and recycling system, ensuring an environmentally friendly choice for the Council.

Cllr Sully said: “Given the uncertainty faced by businesses over the last two years, it was clear we needed to refresh our town centres to entice visitors and support local spending over the Christmas period.

“I’m really pleased with the results achieved using our favoured street cleaning machine, hence why we rehired it for this latest programme of works and I wish to thank our cleansing contractor for maximising the areas covered within the allocated leasing term.”

This latest programme of works forms part of a series of projects undertaken by the Council to improve cleanliness across the district.

Between April and June this year, SWT cleared substantial amounts of litter in partnership with local litter picking groups as part of its annual ‘Operation Spring Clean’, which will be repeated and complimented with enhanced street cleansing in 2022.

To further reduce the impact of litter, the Council will also be launching a Litter Strategy in the near future.

Cllr Sully added: “I hope residents take pride in our efforts and I encourage them to dispose of litter responsibly when visiting our towns and open spaces.”

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