Petition calls for council to put Squeeky Clean Scarborough in charge of street cleaning

A petition is calling on Scarborough Council to put a private firm in charge of cleaning the borough’s streets.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 20th July 2020, 1:49 pm
Updated Monday, 20th July 2020, 1:52 pm
Scarborough Town Hall

Cleaning firm Squeeky Clean Scarborough made headlines in the early days of lockdown when their hazmat-suited employees were a regular site around Scarborough power-washing streets and sanitising benches and public places.

The firm is continuing to clean areas of the town blighted by seagull droppings and now, a member of the public started a petition asking for Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) to pay the company for its work.

Tiger Moreno launched the campaign on the website last week and, so far, almost 350 people have signed up to back it.

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The petition states: “Squeeky Clean Scarborough has been cleaning our streets superbly for quite some time now.

“All without the support of our own council, doing their bit for our community without acknowledgment or pay from our council tax fund.

“The council has people employed to clean the streets but it isn’t being done with good enough equipment and making little or no difference.

“During the lockdown period of this crazy pandemic, Squeeky Clean Scarborough hazmat suited up and tried to ensure our town was as sanitised and as safe as possible.

“They did this with little or no support financially or otherwise from our very own council.

"They continue to clean high priority places and places that we all know are covered in bird excrement, the seagulls don’t really care where they do their business and it’s pretty much everywhere.

“With the help of our voices, as locals, I think it’s time SBC do the right thing and contract Squeeky Clean officially and pay them what they deserve for the tasks they have been carrying out voluntarily just to keep us safe, clean and proud of the town we live in.

“If this pandemic has taught us all anything, it’s that its people like this that keep us all afloat and do the things we all usually take for granted and deserve to be acknowledged and looked after.”

A spokesman for Scarborough Council declined to comment on the specifics of the petition but admitted that the authority was aware its cleaning of gull mess had not been up to scratch.

They said: “In the early stages of the pandemic, we advised a local contractor that wanted to sanitise public areas – such as benches, railings and playgrounds – to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, against doing so.

“This was based on national advice at the time that unless cleaning was continuous, it would be wasted effort.

"As soon as an area had been cleaned, it could very quickly become infected with the virus again through touch.

"There was also a concern that it would make people think it was safe to go out at a time when the instructions were to stay at home.

“It is important to note this was prior to the peak period of kittiwake and herring gull nesting.

"The requests to clean were in relation to the prevention of coronavirus and not about gull guano so it is incorrect and confusing to link these two issues together.

“We know that cleaning of gull guano isn’t currently carried out to the standard that our residents or we would like to see.

"This is something we want to change.

"We are currently considering what funding and resources we could commit to help us achieve cleaner streets and pavements in the future, especially during the peak gull nesting season.”

Click here to view the petition.