Town centre tidiness is an issue which concerns all of us. Discarded drinks cans, fast food containers, chewing gum, cigarette ends and dog mess – they all have a negative impact on the way we feel about our town and the people we share the space with.

In response to public concerns about litter and cleanliness, BTAC (Boston Town Area Committee) has taken the lead in funding improvements to the street scene and green spaces to top up existing provision. In this work, it is being supported by Boston Big Local which is helping to fund chewing gum removal, use of the street vac and promotional activity to encourage responsible citizenship.

The town centre maintenance team has been increased from one to three. Julian, Steve and Andy have wide-ranging skills and experience which include bricklaying, caretaking, grounds and vehicle maintenance.

They will soon be familiar faces as they attend to cleaning, tidying, repairing and maintenance projects. In their sights will be litter bins, signage, weeds, graffiti, public seating, other street furniture and untidy green spaces,  They have already been hard at it, tidying up town centre car parks and Custom House Quay, renewing litter bins in lay-bys throughout the borough and replacing litter bins in Central Park play area.

Graffiti and chewing gum removal will be another of their duties –  they now have the use of a new state-of-the-art chewing gum removal machine. The UK-manufactured Ecogum machine is worn as a backpack and has its own power source so is truly portable. It uses a neutral and safe steam biodegradable mixture to evaporate chewing gum. Because there is no water spray and no trailing leads there is no disruption to the public and it can be operated by one person. It will also remove oil spills. The same device is used at Wembley Stadium, Wimbledon Tennis Stadium and the posh Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The team will also help with an expansion of town centre community events, so all can enjoy more the opportunities for family fun and entertainment afforded by amenities such as Central Park and the pedestrianised area of the Market Place.

Meet the team: Andy Kelk, Boston born (Wyberton West Hospital) and bred and a skilled vehicle technician; Steve Phelps, career in construction and maintenance with Thames Water Authority and BT and more recently a council caretaker and grounds worker – his claim to fame is an appearance on TV’s Stars In Their Eyes in 1996 when he performed Oliver’s Army as Elvis Costello and Julian Beavis, 30 years a bricklayer, with other construction skills and part of the council’s street cleaning team for the past four years.

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