Newquay Town Council’s new Open Spaces Team has already started work to improve the look and state of Newquay’s Open Spaces. The Team which started last week has been busy tackling weeds, litter and general cleanliness of the Killacourt, Marcus Hill Offices grounds and Mountwise Building Grounds, ahead of its uniform and PPE equipment being delivered.
The Team is also working closely with Newquay In Bloom ahead of the judging of South West in Bloom and Britain in Bloom. However, the team’s remit and focus is the whole parish and every area should benefit over time.
During the budget setting last December, the Town Council agreed to fund a new Open Spaces Team on an initial 18 month trial basis, in order to see how successful it is. The team’s focus is augmenting the service standard delivered by Cornwall Council/Cormac/Biffa and enhance it to a level the ratepayers and visitors expect for Newquay as a major seaside town.
The Town Council is also commissioning contractors to repair/replace the most dilapidated benches in key areas, whilst the team is finding its feet. It is important that any issues with open spaces, including benches, continue to be reported to Cornwall Council, who are responsible for their maintenance. However, the Town Council is no longer able to simply lobby for action as there is a strong perception that Newquay is receiving a serious lack of investment and this is detrimental to the Town.
The Town Clerk, Andy Curtis said “the three employees who make up this team are extremely passionate about Newquay and want to do everything possible to improve the Town’s appearance, not just for visitors, but for the ratepayers and those that work here throughout the entire year.
While the team is being established and awaiting their PPE/uniforms, they are surveying all the issues across the entire parish and have already improved the appearance of the Killacourt. We are determined to improve Newquay’s open spaces and infrastructure and now have the flexibility to react quickly to address major issues going forwards. It is hoped longer term, the Town Council will take over most of the Open Spaces from Cornwall Council (as well as some Car Parks to fund it) in order to manage these important assets locally and thus provide more accountability.“
Cllr Zoe Dixon, Chair of the committee which oversees the planned work and budget for the team said “I am delighted that we as a town council will now be able to address some of the "grot spots" in the town and previously neglected areas will now be given attention. I am keen that we make some immediate impact and hope the residents and visitors to Newquay will notice the difference in the coming months”.
Mr Todd, the Open Spaces Supervisor will be drawing up a schedule of works for priority areas on a month by month basis, with the Town Clerk and FBOS Committee members, in order to keep priority issues under review. Whilst waiting for PPE/uniforms to arrive, the team’s focus is on weeding and tasks that do not require the use of power tools. The Town Council is also awaiting the delivery of 2 new vans (a flat bed truck and a large panel van) that have been procured on a Contract Hire basis initially, given this is an 18 month pilot project. However, the vehicles mean that even the larger jobs can be handled by the team.
The Town Council is also in the process of setting up an online gallery to show the projects and work the team have completed, as well as integration with social media.