Keeping streets clean is Dales residents’ priority

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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Keeping the streets clean was the number one priority for Dales residents who responded to a council spending survey.

When asked where they thought Derbyshire Dales District Council should spend the most money, residents said keeping streets and public areas clean and presentable was the most important area.

This was closely followed by tackling crime and antisocial behaviour, creating local employment opportunities and affordable housing.

When asked where the authority should spend the least amount of money, residents answered reception opening hours, subsidised special events and district council communications.

The results were based on 291 respondents to the survey.

Speaking at a meeting of full council last week, councillor Colin Swindell said: “One of the biggest complaints I get as a councillor is about is about grounds maintenance and streets.”

He added that keeping streets clean was something that residents were keen to see.

The results of the survey were published in a report of the authority’s 2014/15 Corporate Plan, which detailed its progress so far. In an effort to keep the streets cleaner, the council plans to introduce new fixed penalties for litter and dog fouling in February next year, subject to member approval.

Cllr Peter Slack asked: “Are we in a position where our maintenance staff and Street Scene can take this on board? I feel that some of the staff are so overworked, will they have time to deal with this? Because it’s a demanding job.”

Director of community services Peter Foley said he thought the council workers would be able to take on the work.

“Our experience is that you don’t need a great deal of enforcement to have an effect as people know they risk getting a fixed penalty – that tends to do the job,” he added.

The Corporate plan set out targets of creating 60 affordable homes this financial year, only 12 of which have so far been achieved.

The council also had a target of adapting 35 homes for disabled people - it has achieved 29 so far.

The authority had a target of enabling 35 new start–up businesses through Derbyshire Dales Business Advice, - 26 have been started.

It was aiming to have 56.7 per cent of all household waste in the district reused, recycled, sent for compost or anaerobic digestion.

To date, the council has exceeded this target with 56.86 per cent of waste being dealt without in this manner.