Swindon Council announced at the West Swindon Locality Meeting on Monday 14th September that the Council now expects local residents to clean the gullies on their streets and that the Council will no longer be undertaking this activity themselves.
Mannington & Western Councillor, Steph Exell, was at the meeting and challenged council officers on this policy.
Following the meeting Councillor Exell said:
“I think residents will be very surprised that despite paying their council-tax, the Council is expecting them to clean the gullies on their streets and not the Council. The Council may think by expecting residents to fulfil these tasks previously done by itself that it is saving money without the streets necessarily being dirtier but realistically Swindon’s streets becoming dirtier is exactly the outcome of this council policy.
I am not in favour of the Council taking this approach where it absolves all responsibility for cleaning our residential roads. I think the Council needs to look at investing more to keep our streets cleaner, including gully cleaning, which will in turn improve the reputation of our town amongst our own residents let alone residents outside of Swindon.
I am also concerned about the liability that those good-spirited residents who are cleaning the gullies, will be taking on. They will have no public liability insurance and no protection should someone become injured from the actions they’ve taken to for example, kill weeds. These people will be unprotected and it would be a tragedy if having been encouraged to clean the gullies on their streets, they suddenly wind up in trouble because of it.”