Restored benches a step to tidier town

Council operative Trevor Hopkins is renovating the town's benches. EMN-180326-135322001
Council operative Trevor Hopkins is renovating the town's benches. EMN-180326-135322001

The joint Pride in Sleaford project is showing signs of brightening up the town, with work ongoing to refurbish ‘street furniture’.

Sleaford Town Council has earmarked a budget of £28,000 over two years towards smartening up the area after concerns raised by councillors that the streets were looking neglected, potentially deterring visitors.

In a proactive move, in liaison with the district council, the authority is renovating tired and flaking decorative benches on streets and other locations in the town.

Clerk Kevin Martin said five have been restored so far: “We are removing them one a week, cleaning them up, painting them and replacing damaged woodwork. One of our operatives, Trevor Hopkins, is a trained carpenter who is using a workshop at the cemetery.”

The council is seeking to take on the maintenance of the numerous decorative bollards and railings that were installed around 20 years ago as part of the Street Smart scheme, to get them repainted too. In total Mr Martin said there are 71 bollards, 17 benches, 10 litter bins, 10 directional signs plus fencing on Nag’s Head Passage and Monument Gardens. He hopes other landowners will follow suit.

Mr Martin is also conducting a review of litter and dog waste bins as under new regulations some dog waste bins are positioned too high.

Where a dog bin is close to a litter bin it will be removed and the litter bin relabelled to accept both kinds of waste, as is now permitted. Mr Martin said some bins have gone beyond their useful life and some can be re-used elsewhere.

He said: “There are about 90 litter bins around the wider town and some have seen better days. A new one can cost £600-£800 and we have had to remove one from Lincoln Road after being vandalised for a third time.”