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Drinking in Helston streets a 'major issue'
6:40am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
Drinking alcohol in Helston’s streets has become a “major issue”, according to town warden Craig Bowcutt.
His report to the amenities committee of Helston Town Council said street drinking was linked to issues about homeless people living in the town.
There were regular problems with the Sunken Garden and Trengrouse Way Amenity Garden, as well as the King George V play area, bowling green and Coronation Lake to a lesser extent.
Mr Bowcutt said: “I am regularly picking up large quantities of empty alcohol bottles and cans from the first two areas.
“An increase in litter bins in some of these areas may help, as well as more frequent emptying of the bins in these locations, but I think this is only a small part of the solution.”
The committee agreed to write a “strong letter” to the town’s police, asking that they turn their attention to the “escalating problem” of street drinking.
Town clerk Chris Dawson will also write to Cornwall Council asking for all missing “no drinking” signs to be replaced.
Mr Bowcutt’s words came as part of a larger report on issues relating to litter, which had shown a “marked increase” he said.
Morning collections could range from two thirds of a bag on the best days up to three on the worst. He believed that, in addition to street drinking, the main reasons were fly tipping, unprotected black bags that were being ripped open and ‘night economy’ – i.e. people leaving the pubs and club.
Mr Bowcutt added: “Unprotected bags are still being left in the streets far too early for collections and, especially during the early part of the reporting period, were being split open by gulls and crows. This has eased now that the nesting period is over for this year.
“So far I have seen a small up-take of Cornwall Council’s Seagull-proof bags in the centre of town.”
He said Cory’s street sweeper vehicle had been visiting more frequently, but due to its size and lack of manoeuvrability it could reach some of the areas the previous smaller vehicle used to reach.
“It is unfortunate that the new sweeper cannot reach the curbs in many areas in town due to on street parking, which is allowing weeds to grow next to the kerb.
“The rotating brushes are very effective at ripping out weeds along kerb edges and of course not allowing any build-up of debris to allow weeds to take hold,” he added.
Mr Bowcutt has met with Jon Mankey, area supervisor for Cory, about helping with weed spraying in particular problem areas.
The occasions where some bins had not been emptied frequently enough – which had led to overspill and extra work to address the problem – had been put down to temporary staff not knowing the locations of bins on the route, or cuts to the amount of times they are emptied.
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