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Love where you live

Boston's own self-styled "gully gal" has launched a "Love Where You Live" campaign to get town residents to take more pride in their property frontages.

Gulley cleaning in Hartley Street

13.2.14 Hartley Street gulley cleaning Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Cllr Carol Taylor has been instrumental in recent months in helping clear streets of parked cars when they have been targeted for essential gulley cleaning and street cleaning.

Where streets have been cleaned some residents have been so appreciative that they have come out afterwards to brush their own frontages to match the new tidiness.

Now Cllr Taylor wants more to display similar pride. TV's Kirstie Allsopp (Location, Location, Location and more) is ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy's Love Where You Live Campaign and has said you can improve the value of your property by making sure your street's frontages are clean and tidy.

Prospective purchasers can be put off by the untidy appearance of even a neighbouring property.

Cllr Taylor said: "I am urging householders, whether they own their home or rent it, to show pride in where they live by sweeping their frontage and collecting up and binning the sweepings, just like our mothers used to do when they also used to paint and polish their front steps. And to encourage their neighbours to do likewise.

"By not just sweeping the debris off the footpath and into the road they will also be helping themselves be better protected from the most devastating effects of flooding. Clean streets means clean gulleys which means excess water can more easily drain away."

The most recent gulley-cleaning exercise was in Boston's Grand Sluice Lane, and the most successful so far, with all cars removed first thing in the morning and a completely empty street for the cleaners to get to work in.

Cllr Taylor, a Boston Borough councillor, has developed her own campaign for advising residents when their street has been selected for gulley and street cleaning and associated road works by Lincolnshire County Council highways and Boston Borough Council.

She hand delivers borough council letters two weeks ahead of time, informing residents of the work to be carried out and when it is to be done, requesting that they ensure their cars are removed from the streets before the work begins.

About five days later she follows up with notices placed on cars in five different languages and then does it all again three days before the work is due to take place.

And then, on the morning of the work, she is in place from around 6.30am to speak to anyone returning from night shift work.

So far her system has operated successfully in Sydney Street, Robin Hood's Walk, Norfolk Place, Norfolk Street, Stafford Street, Hartley Street and Grand Sluice Lane.

She said: "What makes the gulley cleaning so efficient is the teamwork involved which includes the same gulley cleaners, the same street cleaners, George from the borough council, Chris from Highways and the communication team. We all have our specific roles and we work together which is why it is such a success.

"Residents are appreciative of the clean-up. They realise it is for their benefit. Clean gulleys and clean streets mean quicker dispersal of flood water, be it from the river or flash flooding following a torrential downpour. Some streets have had additional work done such as pot holes filled in and white lining. And their streets just look nicer.

"In Grand Sluice Lane one kind lady came out with steaming mugs of tea and biscuits for the workers."