28 November 2018 - Basildon Council will explore the possibility of retaining two Pride Teams on a permanent basis to boost a borough-wide blitz on untidiness.

The Leisure, Culture and Environment Committee last night (Tuesday 27 November) made a recommendation to the Corporate Resources Committee to look into the feasibility of the proposal as part of the 2019/20 budget process.

In July 2017, the former Regeneration and Environment Committee agreed to increase the number of Pride Teams from one to three for a 12-month period in a bid to clean up communities. An additional two Pride Teams were introduced from April 2018 to increase capacity over the summer, with three currently remaining in place until the end of the municipal year.

The teams are responsible for clearing footpaths, removing weeds, cutting back overgrown trees and shrubs, removing dumped litter and deep cleansing untidy areas.

Their work is supported by Street Scene Enforcement and Education Officers, who educate residents on the importance of recycling and correct disposal of waste and take enforcement action against offenders. The Corporate Resources Committee agreed in July to increase the number of officers from three to five, with £10,000 also invested into a CCTV trial at locations where the largest and most frequent fly-tips take place.

Councillor Kevin Blake, Chairman of the Leisure, Culture and Environment Committee, said: "The Pride Teams undertake works over and above routine maintenance. They have done an excellent job in keeping neighbourhoods clean and tidy, and make a real difference to the overall appearance of the borough.

"Thanks to the Pride Teams, residents are taking ownership of their communities and playing their part in keeping streets clean and well-presented. Without further investment we will be back down to one Pride Team from April 2019, reducing their capacity to tackle the issues which matter most to residents."