Anger over litter and overgrown grass on Doncaster’s streets

Mayor Ros Jones and Cllr Joe Blackham with new street sweepers
Mayor Ros Jones and Cllr Joe Blackham with new street sweepers
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Councillors have called for action to sort out Doncaster’s ‘disgusting’ streets, which they say are full of litter and overgrown grass.

The problems came to light at a council meeting when committee members raised the alarm over a decline in the upkeep of roads across the borough in recent weeks.

Litter and overgrown grass in Thorne, Doncaster

Litter and overgrown grass in Thorne, Doncaster

Coun John Mounsey, chairman of Doncaster Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace at the moment. Somebody needs to sort this out. Something must be done rapidly.”

He said he had spotted soiled nappies on Coppice Road, Highfields, while in other areas grass was ‘three feet high’.

“We once had a system where the grass was cut and litter was picked up regularly across the town – but recently something has gone wrong,” said Coun Mounsey.

The councillors’ complaints come just a month after the authority launched a new campaign aimed at tackling some of the town’s grottiest spots.

New machinery has been bought, staff have been taken on and a plan has been drawn up to make streets cleaner.

However, Coun Mounsey said there ‘still seems to be a problem’.

“In Woodlands Park I have noticed they are not litter picking before they cut the grass either and that is causing a problem.

“There are cans and things that children will hurt themselves on,” he said.

“When are we going to get real in this borough and get the right levels of cleanliness? There also seems to be a particular problem in the north of Doncaster, I don’t know if that is because different teams are working differently, but every worker should be doing the same thing.”

He issued an urgent plea, adding: “Can we please start cleaning up our streets, picking up the litter and cutting the grass more, and show people we do care about the state of our streets?”

The ‘This Is My...’ campaign was set up to encourage residents to take pride in where they live and take responsibility for keeping the area clean.

It was launched after Doncaster Council revealed it receives over 20,000 complaints annually about litter and unkempt grass, and spent £500,000 in 2015 dealing with flytipping.

Over the last year 60 new machines, including modern street sweepers, have been purchased in a bid to clamp down on the issue.

Peter Dale, the council’s director of regeneration and environment, accepted that there had been a problem with litter collecting and grass management.

“There is a problem right across the borough, though some areas are affected more than others,” he said. “There were delays in starting with the new machines so we have got behind, but we are catching up now. We have new machinery, a new strategy and new staff and we hope to be caught up in the next two to three weeks.”

Email communications@doncaster.gov.uk, visit www.doncaster.gov.uk or tweet @mydoncaster to find out more about the campaign.