Friday, 23 October 2009


Suspicious benefit claims, potential houses in multiple occupation, fire safety concerns and removal of 14 tons of rubbish are amongst the most recent successes of Operation Clean Sweep.

The operation, led by Thanet District Council, also draws together officers from Kent Police, the UK Border Agency, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent County Council and EDF. The teams hit streets in Cliftonville earlier this week in a one day operation (Tuesday 20 October) and inspected around 50 properties, uncovering a number of problems.

Seven notices were issued on the owners of properties for having rubbish dumped on their premises. Of these, three were cleared by the owners prior to Clean Sweep, three more were cleared by the Clean Sweep team on the day, with the owners being billed for the cost of the work. In the final case, the notice still has time to run, before action is taken.

Volunteers from Hang 10 removed rubbish from alleyways and, in total, 14 tons of rubbish was cleared away, following the day.

The UK Border Agency spoke to a number of people and collected intelligence for further investigations. Seven parking tickets were issued and four benefits claims were cancelled, with investigations underway into others. Further investigations are also underway into several potential Houses in Multiple Occupation, with action being taken under the housing and planning laws against one confirmed HMO. Fire safety concerns were also raised by Kent Fire and Rescue Services at two premises and advice was given on how to improve the situation.

Graffiti was removed around Margate seafront, and the Schmidt machine, which cleans the pavements, and the Fido machine, which cleans up dog mess, were also in operation in the same area.

Street Scene Manager, Bob Spicer, said: "As with previous Operation Clean Sweeps, we're finding a lot less problems when we return to areas, such as Cliftonville, than when we first started. That's a really positive step forward and shows the difference that Clean Sweep is making. You can see a definite improvement out on the streets and that's exactly what this operation is all about."

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