Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Clean Sweep Targets Birchington and Westgate
The operation is led by Thanet District Council, with help from Kent Police, the UK Border Agency and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. The teams have spent the last two days (Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 February) inspecting properties in the two areas and checking to see if people have any problems that the teams can help with.
A property in Station Road, that had been operating as an unregulated House in Multiple Occupation, was closed down by the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, because it had inadequate means of escape. The council’s Environmental Health team also spoke to the owners about a blocked drain at the property. If it re-opens at any point, then further action may also be taken by the council’s housing team.
A restaurant in Westgate has now been told to clean up its act and undergo a thorough cleaning, after dirty washing was found in the food preparation area. Officers from the council will be returning to the premises to ensure that this is done. Two food premises, one in Birchington and one in Westgate, were not regulated by the council’s food safety team. A store in Westgate voluntarily threw away nine items of food, as they had been stacked above the freezer line. Checks were also carried out to ensure that businesses had trade waste licences. Of 15 properties checked in Canterbury Road, Westbrook, only three had a licence.
After shopkeepers in Canterbury Road highlighted a problem with dumped rubbish behind their shops, Pipeline moved in the following day to clear up the rubbish. They also tackled dumped rubbish in Linksfield Road in Westgate. Council officers are also investigating a large amount of rubbish found at the Square in Birchington, which may lead to further action.
A number of concerns were once again raised about anti-social behaviour, with details given out of local PCSOs and wardens that residents can discuss their concerns with.
Planning concerns were raised about a room in the loft of a property in the Square, while the UK Border Agency arrested one person on suspicion of them being an illegal immigrant and collected intelligence for further investigations.
Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “The latest Clean Sweep has had a great response from everyone that our officers have spoken to in both Birchington and Westgate. There have been so many positive comments from people and everyone’s been really pleased to see them. It’s clear that Clean Sweep is really well thought of by both local residents and shop keepers. The message that we’ve been getting out to people is that if you do have any issues, please talk to us about them, so that we can take action for you.”