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Clean-up patrols get full-time role

Night-time litter louts will have their mess cleaned up after them, under a new street cleaning scheme – and it won’t cost taxpayers a penny. Members of business group Swansea Bid have vowed to make Swansea a cleaner place to party.

A team of three stewards will be patrolling the city at night and putting food wrappers, cigarette butts, flyers and discarded bottles in the bin.

It follows a pilot scheme which has been hailed a success.

Keep Wales Tidy officials applauded the street-cleaning programme, saying it would help give the city a feel good factor.

Communications manager Wynne Williams said: “This initiative is to be to be applauded. Other cities should be looking to do the same thing.

“If you visit a town and it is clean, it gives it a feel good factor. It can also make people feel safer.”

For the past five months, litter-pickers have been patrolling the city centre every night of the weekend as part of a pilot scheme.

Between 7pm and 11pm, wardens covered nightlife hotspots such as High Street, Wind Street, The Strand and Castle Square.

The £26,000 initiative was put together by Swansea Bid – a collaboration of 730 city centre businesses. Each business pays into a pot of cash that is supplemented by grants. Jennie Clements, chairwoman of the Bid cleaner working group, said the pilot scheme was now being made permanent.

“It’s an unfortunate feature of life that people drop litter,” she added.

“But in areas where there is a round-the-clock culture, it is important we don’t allow litter to build up – which is why we introduced night-time patrols.

“They have helped create a pleasant and welcoming environment for visitors and contributed to Bid’s overall action plan for brightening the city centre.”

So far, cleaners have collected 690 bags of rubbish on their night shifts – something which Wind Street regular Matthew Woolway, aged 30, of Gorseinon, thinks is a good thing.

He said: “It’s a valuable scheme for keeping our city clean. It’s important if we want to create a good first impression for new visitors.”

South Wales Evening Post, 30 April 2008

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