Anger after responsibility for cleaning up Northampton's waterways is left out of contract

'They have stuck their heads in the sand and done nothing about it'

Friday, 26th March 2021, 10:45 am

A Northampton councillor has been left astonished after finding out the council's contractor is not responsible for cleaning the town's waterways.

Janice Duffy has been trying to get Northampton Borough Council to clean up the rubbish in Billing Brook for years with little success.

So she was dismayed to learn the clearance of streams and lakes is not part of Idverde's contract, which is to look after the town's parks and gardens.

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Random bits of plastic and fallen trees in Billing Brook recently
Random bits of plastic and fallen trees in Billing Brook recently

"It's ridiculous, not only have I been misled, but so have people paying council tax and taking their kids around there have got this eyesore to look at," she said.

"The council haven't even adopted it properly or made sure it's part of Idverde's contract - it's appalling."

Councillor Duffy claims trolleys, fallen trees, tyres and more are regularly spotted in Billing Brook, especially in the section near Brookside Community Centre.

The Labour councillor for Talavera ward said she has been complaining to the council about it for a long time and is often given assurances it will be cleared up but nothing happens.

She found out about the contract issue after Brookside Residents' Association chairman Margaret Pritchard asked Idverde about it directly.

A member of staff told her that waterways are not part of its contract, although the council has for this to be reviewed.

Councillor Duffy said; "I think Idverde does a good job but for one reason or another waterways weren't included in their contract and that seems like an awful omission.

"Fly-tipping is at an industrial scale in Northampton so to not include waterways when they are getting complaints about it is odd.

"They have stuck their heads in the sand and done nothing about it - I suppose it's to do with money but that's not good enough."

A West Northamptonshire Council spokesperson said: “West Northamptonshire Council is committed to being a great place to live, work, visit and thrive and this includes improving issues that concern us all, such as litter.

“We will look for new ways to maintain and improve areas that require it.”