Plan to make Royston retailers take responsibility for pavement outside shops

Retailers could be made to clean up

Retailers could be made to clean up - Credit: Archant

RETAILERS could be asked to take responsibility for the pavement outside their shops as part of a four-point plan to clean up Royston town centre.

The proposal is one of a number of measures discussed by Royston Town Council’s General Purpose and Highways Committee at their meeting on Monday, following a number of complaints from residents about the amount of litter in the town centre.

Cllr Mike Harrison, chairman of the committee, told the Crow: “We decided to tackle the problem four ways. Litter is something that always comes up after the councillors’ school visits, and we had a chap come to Monday’s meeting to speak to us about it too.

“One thing we want to do is write to the shopkeepers to see if its possible for them to keep the bit of the street by their premises tidy.”

But retailers are unhappy with the plans. Lisa Thompson, general manager of the Stationery Cupboard, attended a meeting held by the Royston Means Business group on Tuesday. “Everybody’s opinion is that we pay our business rates so why are we having to do this?” she said.

“We are trying hard enough to keep our businesses going. We don’t need extra things to do.”

Another retailer, who did not want to be named, said she was unaware of the plans. “We’re the last to know, as ever,” she said. “Why should we be having to do this? I’m not happy with that. What are our rates for if they are not for maintaining the pavement?”

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Other measures suggested by councillors include more regular visits from North Herts District Council’s ‘green machine’ – the street cleaning machine which currently comes to Royston once a month. Town councillor Peter Burt, who is also the district council’s portfolio holder for waste and recycling, is to investigate the cost of this.

Cllr Harrison said: “We are also going to see if we can arrange a ‘womble’ around the town through Royston in Bloom to pick up all the rubbish, and want to do more to educate children about keeping the town tidy.”

The councillor believes dog owners also have their part to play to put a stop to dog fouling that blights the town’s parks.

“We’ve had several reports about dog fouling in the Newmarket Road play area, it’s disgraceful people don’t clean up after their animals,” he said.

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