Witney News - West Oxfordshire rewarded for cleanliness

Witney - A view from Church Green


West Oxfordshire rewarded for cleanliness

West Oxfordshire has received a four out of five-star rating for cleanliness in the Clean Britain Awards 2008/9.

West Oxfordshire District Council entered the awards and received a four-star rating certificate on behalf of the district yesterday (Tuesday, March 10th).

Star ratings between 1 and 5 were awarded to entrants and North Norfolk was named overall winner in the District Category.

West Oxfordshire District Council was recognised for working in partnership with Town and Parish Councils, Neighbourhood Action Groups, local communities and businesses, to promote a clean and welcoming environment for everybody.

The district was assessed for the awards from a visitor’s perspective during a half-day visit by judges who considered criteria ranging from litter, rubbish, fly-tipping and waste bin management to signage and cleanliness of street furniture, overgrown hedgerows obstructing pavements, and graffiti.

Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council, said: “West Oxfordshire is a beautiful area and I believe that local authorities, residents and businesses here all share a commitment to keeping it at its best. These awards have been running since 1998 and it is the first time West Oxfordshire has entered, so we are very pleased to receive a four-star rating on behalf of the whole district. The hard work and dedication that we all have to our local environment has been recognised by this award and we will continue to strive to ensure that our district remains clean and tidy and an attractive place in which to live, work and to visit.”

Witney Town Council is one example of a Town Council that works to help keep the area clean and tidy.

Witney Mayor, Cllr Alvin Adams, said: “On behalf of Witney, we are very pleased the district has received this rating. Much work has been done in the town to tackle issues such as litter, including the recent new arrival of extra litter bins and dog waste bins. The Town Council works to improve the environment for everybody and co-ordinates events such as Witney in Bloom and Schools in Bloom, which helps to get the community to take pride in local surroundings. We have also recently installed new signage coming into the town. We work closely with the district council and our partnership working will continue with the aim of improving Witney’s environment.”

Among some of the work the District Council does is:

** Provides weekly bin and recycling collections for all households, commercial waste and recycling services, and a fortnightly paid-for garden waste collection service.
** Employs 16 cleansing operatives who work throughout the district on street cleansing and grounds maintenance, helping to clear rubbish from 1,410 Council-owned litter bins and 750 dog litter bins, as well as running an education programme in the district’s schools.
** Tackles fly-tipping, fly-posting, dog fouling and cleans up litter. The Council has an Environmental Enforcement Team, whose 2 officers investigate all reports of fly-tipping and other environmental crime offences.
** Provides 13 public conveniences across the district, which are cleaned at regular intervals throughout each day. These facilities have recently been refurbished as part of an overall improvement scheme.

The Council also supports Community Clean Up Days organised by the Safer Communities Partnership with the district’s 5 Neighbourhood Action Groups.

‘Green Gyms’, involving volunteers who carry out environmental work, operate in the Chipping Norton and Woodstock areas, and there are a variety of voluntary environmental groups operating across the district with the aim of enhancing and protecting the environment.

For more information about the District Council’s environmental work, visit www.westoxon.gov.uk/environment

Posted : 11/03/2009 15:19:31

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