'The last deep clean stripped the paint off my shop' says Northampton business owner

Carol Faulkner says the BID needs to do more to help clean up the town, after a previous effort fell short in her eyes.
Carol Faulkner says the BID needs to do more to help clean up the town, after a previous effort fell short in her eyes.
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A Northampton shopkeeper has called on the town's business improvement district to live up to its word of making the town cleaner after a previous attempt at a jet wash took the paint off the front of her shop.

Yesterday, Northampton BID confirmed it would be continuing with a twice-yearly program of deep cleaning around the town's main shopping streets as part of its remit to improve the centre's trading environment.

The aftermath of the last deep clean, which left the wood chipped at the bottom of the window pane.

The aftermath of the last deep clean, which left the wood chipped at the bottom of the window pane.

But Carol Faulkner, who runs Northampton Health Store in The Drapery, is hoping its contractors won't make the same mistakes as last time.

When they jet-washed The Drapery on April 26 this year, they took off a large area of paint from the front of her premises.

The dust and spray from the deep clean also spread so much dirt onto her front window, she had to get it cleaned by a professional.

Mrs Faulkner said: "I came into the shop that morning and when I lifted the shutter it looked as if there had been heavy rain.

"I ran my finger across the bus stop opposite and it was filthy also.Then when I looked back at my shop I saw some of the actual wood had come off.

"I wasn't happy about it."

After around 12 weeks fo chasing BID to repaint the damaged shopfront, a worker's efforts at rectifying the damage last week only made it worse - painting the stripped down the wrong shade of brown.

"I was disgusted, I couldn't believe that someone could have done that job and been happy with it," Mrs Faulkner added.

BID says it is aware of the issues facing Mrs Faulkner and is working wither her to fix the issue.

Mrs Faulkner has now called on the BID to reveal plans to help make the town centre cleaner after the levy-funded organisation promised to do more for town tidiness last week.

Responding, director Andrew Cruden, who owns Market Square News admitted that "cleanliness is a big issue" among business owners and revealed that BID will be supplying 10 new bins around the town.

He added that it would continue to fund the overnight deep cleaning programme, targeting areas "most in need of extra pressure washing, chewing gum removal, litter-picking and a general tidy up".

"We are in constant discussions with BID businesses and rely on their input to help us determine which areas to target," he added.

"Bridge Street, St Giles Street, Derngate and Abington Street are among the remaining areas due for deep cleans this year.

"Gold Street, College Street, the Market Square and The Drapery have already received additional BID-funded deep cleaning. If there is a particular issue raised by a group of BID business then we will go back to the board to see if extra budget can be allocated from other projects."