'Day of action' a success for Essex town

AN Essex town was the target of a major crackdown by police and council officers in a bid to improve the quality of life for residents.

Annie Davidson

AN Essex town was the target of a major crackdown by police and council officers in a bid to improve the quality of life for residents.

Abandoned cars were towed away, 12 tonnes of rubbish was removed and anti-social behaviour was tackled as part of the initiative in the Highwoods area of Colchester.

Essex Police, the DVLA, the Environment Agency and the borough council were just some of the officials involved yesterday.

Dave McManus, street care and recycling manager for the council, said he was pleased with how the “day of action” had gone and added similar initiatives would be held.

He said: “I think generally people were receptive to the information and advice they were given.

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“It was good to be out there and be highly visibly. I think often councils can be seen by the public as taking council tax but little happens and we wanted to be highly visible and show they (the public) are getting what they pay for.”

The agencies involved in the action day had their base at the Bluebell Centre but went out around Highwoods to tackle three main areas - community safety information, enforcement activity and cleaning up.

The council spoke to homeowners who were seen to not recycle or to put out a large amount of rubbish in a bid to promote recycling and reducing waste.

Street cleaning teams aided by mechanical sweepers targeted 'grot spots' and picked up 12 tonnes of rubbish, from private as well as public land.

Abandoned cars were removed, the owners of untaxed vehicles were given warnings and the fire brigade gave safety advice and handed out smoke alarms.

Mr McManus said: “Once we have gathered all the information and seen how successful it is we will possibly be looking at doing three per year.”

Tim Young, street and waste services portfolio holder at the borough council, added: “This was an excellent opportunity to really target our activity in one area of the borough to help ensure that we are tackling problems affecting residents on a day to day basis.

“We are committed to listening and responding to our residents' needs and that is exactly what this campaign will achieve. We will see real improvements on the ground, helping to ensure that Colchester is a place where people really want to live.”

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