Sunday clean-up on cards for Huntingdonshire towns

THE rubbish left on Huntingdonshire s town centre streets by Saturday night revellers could cleared up on Sunday mornings to make the market towns more attractive for shoppers. But senior councillors are concerned that residents who have had a late night

THE rubbish left on Huntingdonshire's town centre streets by Saturday night revellers could cleared up on Sunday mornings to make the market towns more attractive for shoppers.

But senior councillors are concerned that residents who have had a "late night" - some of whom may have been responsible for the litter - would not take kindly to early morning cleaning activities disturbing their slumbers.

The district council's cabinet, though sympathetic to the principle of Sunday cleansing, was not convinced that a working group set up to report on the issue had adequately addressed the issues of timing or how the estimated £52,400 cost should be funded.

Most of the junk that disfigures the district's streets comes from fast-food outlets, but many of them are in residential areas of Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives and Ramsey, the cabinet heard. But people were not likely to be grateful for being wakened at 6am on a Sunday by people clearing up after them and others, said Councillor Colin Hyams, who is responsible for rubbish on the cabinet.


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Cllr Jason Ablewhite, who had chaired the working group - which has now been sent back to think over the detail more carefully - said the world had changed since the introduction of Sunday trading 30 years ago. The town centres were more vibrant, but the council needed to take steps to make them more attractive as tourist and shopping destinations on Sundays.

Not all cabinet members were sympathetic to the early Sunday morning plight of late-night revellers. "There are ups and downs of living in a town centre," said Cllr Deborah Reynolds, last year's Mayor of St Ives, which has the most expansive Saturday night-life in the old county. "Just as there are ups and downs of living next to a farmer with a cockerel."

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But she had a practical money-saving thought, too. Why not clean on Sunday, instead of Thursday, when there's little mess in the town because it's half-day closing?

Then there is the question of who should pay any additional cost. HDC picks up most of the street-cleaning bill in the towns, while villages, the larger of which have comparable little problems from takeaway food outlets, pay for their own cleaning.

There will clearly be no quick decisions.

* Would you be happy to have town centre streets cleaned on Sundays mornings, even if it meant an early start and changes to midweek cleaning? Write to The Editor, The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TB, or e-mail editor@huntspost.co.uk.

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