Council aims to keep clean title
A SEASIDE council voted the cleanest in Britain is looking to keep its title while seeking savings and efficiencies in its services.North Norfolk District Council was the overall winner of this year's Clean Britain Awards because of its litter free streets.
A SEASIDE council voted the cleanest in Britain is looking to keep its title while seeking savings and efficiencies in its services.
North Norfolk District Council was the overall winner of this year's Clean Britain Awards because of its litter free streets.
But, like all other councils, it is faced with finding savings, and is currently looking at redrawing its street cleansing in the lead up to a new contract in 2011.
Environment director Nick Baker said the council hoped to maintain services through efficiencies, but, as happened now, there was scope for towns and parishes to step up cleansing if they paid for it.
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A letter from the district council to town and parish councils, asking about levels of current and future services, has sparked some concerns from grass roots members.
Sheringham Town Council agreed to voice its disgust that the district was considering reducing cleaning services.
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Peter Cox told colleagues “the district has been trumpeting it is the cleanest in Britain. This letter says it is determined not to be voted top again. It cannot cut services which are barely adequate now.
“They could lay off two or three idle officers and save money that way. They are saving pennies rather than pounds and it's down to parish and town councils to solve the problems,” he added.
Harold Prior agreed that if the town had pick up extra cleansing costs it would have a considerable impact on the local precept, and Peter Burns said such a move would be an “utter disgrace.”
Afterwards Mr Baker explained the council was looking to maintain services while facing a tightening economic situation and budget cuts of up to 8pc.
There could be efficiencies as a new contract was agreed, but he felt they would not result in noticeable cuts.
And if towns and parishes wanted a higher level of service, they could ask for it, but would have to foot the bill.
The district was keen to get the views of parishes and towns. Responses to a consultation so far had seen a mix of some councils happy to shoulder extra cleansing, while others were not.