The road/ pavements of Hereford City Centre are deeply ingrained with years of accumulated grime and stains from delivery vehicles that drive over it. Combined with the gull mess that dries solidly on in the summer months, the City struggles to reach any standard of reasonable cleanliness expected by businesses and tourists alike and which is normally found in most cites and large towns. Hereford BID has investigated the solution and asked Herefordshire Council for urgent help in raising standards and fenable a lasting resolution.
Currently BBLP provide cleaning in the city with a budget that is a fraction of that 10 years ago. Back then a hot wash scrubbing machine with detergent was used providing a deep and thorough clean - the practice was done full time by an operative who kept things ship shape and would continuously work on this task alone. Once that stopped, vehicle staining (oil etc.) and general dirt was able to penetrate deep within the ground making the surface look filthy and unkept. Further, even the newly laid surface of Commercial Street looks uncared for even though this is only a few months old. Add to all this the mess produced by birds and you end up with something that is not really acceptable in what should be the jewel in Herefordshire's crown. The problem is accentuated in the summer months by bird muck that becomes baked to the ground. BBLP's dust scrubbing machines cannot remove this until rain arrives to soften it up. Ultimately, cleaning streets signs and painting benches and so on is a worthwhile task, but, if the canvas it all sits upon is filthy then Hereford will never look as good it has done in years gone by.
A hot scrubbing machine with detergent costs in the region of £60k plus cost of operative and of course, running costs + repairs. This is the right equipment for the job.
What HBID has done
- Met BBLP and Herefordshire Council on a regular basis to discuss cleanliness and made suggestions including the the timing of street cleaning: this should fall after waste is collected on a Monday (for instance) so that any spilt waste/ gull pecked bags can be cleaned up
- Have constantly fed back to BBLP on bin emptying frequency - sometimes this has not been quick enough or even done at all
- Helped to clean the Eign Gate underpass although first and foremost we ask BBLP to do this on a daily basis - this is not always the case for what is a key pathway in. There are ongoing problems here that we have asked to be addressed.
- We have tried to paint the ceiling of the underpass to give it a lift. Permission has to be given by the Highways Agency. Through our contacts at the City Council assistance was provided via Jessie Norman. Despite this we continue to find challenges but we will keep pushing.
- July 2019: We have met Councilor John Harrington, who has listened to our concerns and solutions and has promised to investigate. We will update you in the coming months on the outcome.