Plans to hire chewing gum removal staff rejected
Councillors have voted against hiring staff dedicated to removing chewing gum from Renfrewshire streets, writes Jack Thomson, Local Democracy Reporter.
The local authority currently uses handheld specialised machines, mechanical sweepers and power washers to target hotspots.
The average cost of a piece of chewing gum is 3p but has a clean-up cost of around £1.50.
Proposals were put forward at Wednesday’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, which suggested recruiting four workers – at a cost of £150,000 a year – as part of a dedicated chewing gum removal programme.
However, SNP and Conservative elected members instead voted in favour of keeping the status quo and targeting problem spots on a“required basis”.
Labour group leader Councillor Eddie Devine claimed board convener Councillor Cathy McEwan had committed to eradicating chewing gum from local streets“immediately” after she was appointed in May 2017.
He said:“Can I just remind you that when you came into power, you promised to clean up every single bit of chewing gum immediately?” “Now you are delaying it.” However, Councillor McEwan denied the accusation, when she said:“You are telling me that.
“I don’t remember saying that.”
The SNP elected member, who was recently shortlisted for a national award for her environmental work, reminded councillors the Scottish Government was considering a levy on chewing gum manufacturers.
Councillor Devine added:“Any excuse to do nothing.”