The Environmental Protection Act 1990 imposes a duty on local authorities to keep specified land and public highways clear of litter and refuse so far as is practicable.
A Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse is issued under section 89(7) of the 1990 Act.
The Code defines standards of cleanliness and sets how quickly differing types of land should be returned to a set cleanliness standard.
Further information can be found on the Highways Rangers web page.
Brentwood Borough Council is responsible for the maintenance of the Borough's:
- Highway verges
- Parks & public open spaces
- Memorial gardens
- Floral displays
- Shrub beds
- Golf course
- Bowling greens
- Rural hedges
Essex County Council is required to keep verges safe and unobstructed. Brentwood Borough Council undertakes additional cutting to further enhance the appearance of the Borough.
The grass is cut on a three to four weekly cycle from March through to the end of October. However, weather conditions such as periods of heavy rain will have an effect on the grass cutting schedule.
Sports fields are cut every ten days and marked out on a weekly basis during the football and rugby season.
Rural roads are cut twice yearly, during the months of June and September. However, overgrown grass will be cut outside of this schedule if it is impeding traffic visibility.
Hedges, shrub and flower beds
The maintenance of Council owned hedges takes place between July and August each year. However, the cutting of rural hedges occur during the winter months from October to February.
Council maintained flower beds are planted in May with summer bedding plants and re-planted in October in readiness for the winter. Council maintained shrub beds are maintained twice yearly.
Please note: Vegetation on private land, which is overgrown and is impeding visibility for traffic or causing an obstruction to pedestrians on pavements must be reported to Essex County Council who are responsible for highways maintenance.
Neighbourhood action teams
The Neighbourhood Action Team is responsible for taking a pro-active role in the cleanliness and appearance of the Borough's streets, public open spaces and woodlands, ensuring that Brentwood is a clean and green place for all to enjoy.
Their work is on top of the daily scheduled work currently carried out by the Grounds and Street Cleansing teams, to enhance existing features and assets.
The Neighbourhood Action Team enhances the work of the Operational teams that already work hard to keep the streets of Brentwood clean and green. The work carried out creates a visual impact within wards making Brentwood a cleaner and greener place for all to enjoy.
If you know of an area that would benefit from their work, this is a great opportunity for you to highlight to your Ward members details of hot spots that require attention within your ward who will advise the Neighbourhood Action Team's manager who will endeavour to schedule work in subject to resources. To find your local councillor go to My Property.
Examples of types of work the team will carry out:
- Cutting back vegetation, including site lines and hedges:
- All year if it is a health and safety issue
- After flowering
- No cutting hedges between the end of February - end of May (Bird nesting season)
- Edging pathways (All year round)
- Planting trees and shrubs (Autumn/Winter only, irrigation will be required if at other times)
- Weeding flower beds (Dry conditions only)
- Bulb planting (October for bulbs, April in the green i.e. snowdrops)
- Reinstatement of verges (please note this is an ECC function however will undertake emergency reinstatements)
- Turf or seed depending on weather conditions
- Shrub pruning (Winter/Autumn or Spring after flowering)
- Application of wood chip to shrub beds (weed control)
- De-suckering of trees and lifting crowns
- Painting of play equipment, litter bins, benches and railings
- Installation of benches
- Blitz litter picking
- Bubble gum removal
- Graffiti on Council property
- Cleaning and repairing signage
- Post installations
- Picking up Fly tips
- Deep cleansing
- Clearing culverts
- Painting i.e., railings
The team may assist in educational Environmental Awareness Days, i.e. supervising pupils in a litter pick to promote the message of taking pride in your town, school, parks etc.
Examples of jobs the team will not be carrying out:
- Pot holes (Essex County Council)
- Unblocking gullies (Essex Council Council)
- Mending broken kerbs (Essex County Council)
- High level tree work
- Graffiti on private buildings
- Garden clearances
- Grass cutting (this will be carried out by current Grounds team)
- Working on private or unadopted areas within the Borough
- Collecting bulky waste
- Weed killing (on Highway schedule)
Street care teams
The Streetcare team consists of three fully equipped vehicles, a 'Green Machine' and at least six operatives who sweep and litter pick, remove fly tips and cleanse the Borough's streets as necessary.
Whether it's emptying litter bins in shopping areas, removing graffiti or sweeping broken glass, the crews are able to deal with all the cleansing tasks that face them.
One of the vehicles is dedicated to dealing with flytipping in the Borough and advertises the flytipping hotline 0800 328 6835 or you can report this online:
This scheme is designed to ensure that every street is visited and litter picked at least every twelve weeks and that it also receives a deep cleanse every four to six months. This will include manual and mechanical sweeping of the footways, cleansing of street signs and other street furniture, and verge trimming.
Town centre ranger
Brentwood’s Town Centre Ranger is an additional force in the Council’s street cleaning team.
As well as clearing graffiti, doing the odd bit of painting and cleaning, he encourages and helps local businesses to keep their premises spick and span. His role is more that of a town centre caretaker and he also uses his own discretion to respond to problems as he sees them or call in the Council workforce to deal with them.
The Council applies 3 to 4 applications (depending on weed growth) of herbicide at strategic points in the year to address weed growth in the carriageway and on the footway. Each application takes approximately one week to complete and up to 10 days to take effect.
Information on how to stop invasive non-native plants from spreading is available on GOV.UK
- follow all good advice provided through the Environment Agency and Defra
- make sure that herbicides are used safely and correctly
- speak to your neighbours and work together to get rid of the Japanese Knotweed and share the costs
- ensure that any cuttings are disposed of correctly
- put cuttings in your green waste or compost bin
- put cuttings in your wheelie bin (or any other kerbside bin/box)
- fly tip cuttings
- accept topsoil from sources that have not been checked for Knotweed rhizome
- ignore or delay. Early identification and treatment is essential
If you have Japanese Knotweed on your land you may be causing a private nuisance to surrounding properties. A private nuisance case could be brought against you by members of the public or land owning agent in the civil court. For advice, please speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Other people's private property
The council has no legal enforcement powers it can use against landowners who do not deal with Japanese Knotweed growing on their land.
In the first instance you should speak to the landowner to address the problem.
It is the landowner’s responsibility to control Japanese Knotweed effectively. It is in your best interests to treat this and any other invasive species on your own property.
If Japanese Knotweed is found on highway land, please contact Essex Highways on 0345 603 7631. If on Brentwood Borough land (parks and amenity greens) we will treat it chemically between May and October each year. We only treat Japanese Knotweed between these months as this is when the weed is most receptive to treatment but we will take reports throughout the year. The treatment process can take three to four years to be successful.
We can in many cases also treat council tenants' front and back gardens at the request of Housing Services. If as a council tenant you feel that Japanese Knotweed is in your property please report to Housing Services in the first instance on 01277 312500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you believe that Japanese Knotweed is growing on land owned, managed and maintained by Network Rail (this includes railway tracks and property both used and disused) then you can it report directly to Network Rail on 08457 11 41 41.