Cleaning costs exceed £43,000 per year
CLEANING Ashford’s shared space and its designer benches, bins and bus stops and pavements will cost the tax payer more than £43,000 a year. Figures disclosed to the Kentish Express under the Freedom of Information Act show that cleaning the roads and pavements, and emptying the bins is costing £835 each week. That figure includes £433 for sweeping the pavements and £88 for emptying litter bins. Details of the costs come as Kent County Council insisted it was beginning to overcome problems caused by staining on sections of the pavements made of granite slabs. Problems arose because the slabs were laid on sand rather than concrete. While sand makes it easier to lift the slabs where utility companies need access, it meant the pavements were initially vulnerable to damage from mechanical sweepers. According to KCC that problem has been dealt with after what is described as a “settling in” period. However, the problem of more serious staining around areas heavily used by pedestrians has still not been resolved. The council is trialling a new sealant aimed at limiting the deterioration, admitting that “areas such as bus stops and benches are showing staining to more of an extent that was initially envisaged.” And the best way to tackle the problem of the flume artwork cracking also has yet to be agreed. According to KCC, talks are still going on with contractor Jackson Civil Engineering to establish “the most cost effective way to repair it.” Temporary repairs have cost £500. We highlighted in October how parts of the road and features such as bins and benches were becoming increasingly grubby, with marking caused by drink and food spillages. Damaged parts of the costly “flume” have been laid with ordinary tarmac to prevent further damage.
What do you think of KCC’s efforts to tackle the shared space stains? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, Kent TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@thekmgr oup.co.uk
Stains on the pavements, like this one in Bank Street, have become an issue