Residents in Milton Keynes vote to employ their own ranger to keep town clean and tidy after council cuts

When council landscaping cuts left their town looking a little shabby, residents in Newport Pagnell voted overwhelmingly to do something about it.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 2:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:28 pm
Ranger Simon Bates

They were asked by the town council whether they would be prepared to pay extra council tax to employ a ‘ranger’ to keep the town shipshape.

A massive 86 per cent of people voted yes, and contractor Simon Bates was employed.

Since last year he has spent 10 hours a week pulling up weeds, picking up litter, removing graffiti , picking up fallen leaves and cleaning street signs.

Ranger Simon Bates

His efforts have made such a difference that the town council - after more consultation - is now doubling his hours to 20 a week.

The new hours will bring the taxpayers’ ranger contribution up to £4.28 a year for the average Band D household.

“The town looks so much better already and the new hours will make even more difference,” said Newport Pagnell Mayor Paul Day.

“Simon undertakes work in the environment that Milton Keynes Council was no longer able to achieve, owing to significant funding reductions from central government,” he said. “His efforts have produced some remarkable results.”

Simon is currently undergoing training in enforcement actions to enable him to dish out on the spot fines to people who do not respect the town.

He will be authorised to fine anybody he spots throwing litter on the streets.

Dog walkers who fail to pick up after their pet can also be fined under dog fouling legislation.

“People in Newport Pagnell take a real pride in their town and we want to keep things looking clean, tidy and well-maintained,” said Mayor Paul Day.

Littering and dog fouling are offences under the Environmental Protection Act and can incur fines of up to £80.