Melbourn picked for trial scheme where residents help to keep villages clean

PUBLISHED: 16:44 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:41 08 May 2018

Melbourn councillors Jose Hales and Philippa Hart with the street-sweeper that can be used by communities to keep their villages clean. Picture: SCDC

Melbourn councillors Jose Hales and Philippa Hart with the street-sweeper that can be used by communities to keep their villages clean. Picture: SCDC

Archant

Melbourn is the first village to benefit from a new initiative being trialled in South Cambridgeshire to help keep areas clean.

Volunteers Tim, Stuart and Richard  have been trained up to use the street sweeper. Picture: SCDCVolunteers Tim, Stuart and Richard have been trained up to use the street sweeper. Picture: SCDC

The scheme, designed by South Cambs District Council and local communities, comes after around 20 villages from across the area said they were interested in receiving more help with additional street cleansing. Of those 20 areas, trials are being worked up in seven locations – the first, in Melbourn, started today.

Equipment such as a ride-in street sweeper is being made available for use by volunteers in parishes and extra support is also being offered for co-ordinated litter picks.

In Melbourn, volunteers have already been trained to operate the ride-in sweeper. This is being made available to borrow for use on tarmacked paths, including cycle-ways like the A10 cycle path.

Wyevale Garden Centre in Shepreth has offered to provide secure storage for the sweeper while it is being used by volunteers.

A leaf and litter vacuum will also be made available, which can be used in car parks, around shops and on playing fields. Both pieces of equipment will be able to be booked out by communities taking part in the trial and used by volunteers who have gone through training and checks which are organised by the council.

All of this is in addition to the currently scheduled and reactive clean-up work by the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City councils.

The second new project being developed will see the authority supplying tools like litter-pickers, gloves and bags to communities who want to run their own ‘big clean’ events and environmental action days. Staff from the Shared Waste Service will be paired with volunteers to encourage communities to separate out items that can be recycled, and give out food caddies and recycling advice. The council will collect and dispose of waste collected by volunteers.

Melbourn district councillor Jose Hales said: “This project wouldn’t be possible without the very significant time and commitment of local people from the Melbourn and the surrounding area, including local county councillor Susan van de Ven, who are keen to contribute to the upkeep of local paths and roads.

“We’re also very grateful to local businesses like Wyevale who step up so readily to help out on community projects.

“The cycle path that we’ve completed a test run along has transformed walking and cycling habits in Melbourn and Shepreth so I know people will be delighted with this extra help to keep it in good condition.”

Fellow district councillor for Melbourn, Philippa Hart, added: “I am delighted to take this initiative forward in the Melbourn ward. 
“The safety and good condition of our roads and pavements is a big preoccupation for Jose and me. The sweeper and our volunteer drivers will help enormously.”

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