Lord Mayor helps fight graffiti

By on 09/05/2012 in News

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anita Ward, swapped her mayoral chains for high visibility clothes and a hard hat, as she tried out a brand new graffiti buster vehicle in the city's subways.

Councillor Ward hopped on board Amey's brand new, state-of-the-art 'graffiti buster' vehicle in Salford Circus to try for herself the new methods used for cleaning up city streets.

Amey works in partnership with Birmingham City Council to maintain and manage the city's roads network and clearing graffiti is just one part of the service. The partnership responds to calls from members of the public and councillors regarding graffiti on the highway network and any obscene graffiti is removed within 24 hours of it being reported.

The new graffiti clearing vehicle uses environmentally friendly products to clean graffiti from roads, bridges, walls and subways. It is staffed by a fully trained team and can be operated around the clock if required.

This is, in part, thanks to a dedicated welfare unit on board, which houses a toilet, washing facilities, microwave and drink making equipment. This unit ensures that if staff are working in an isolated area late at night, they have all welfare facilities with them.

The new vehicle replaces a jetting system which had to be towed and was difficult to get into subways where much of the graffiti occurs.

Councillor Ward also met young people from Nechells-based charity Free@last who are joining forces with the partnership to clean up the streets. The charity has two groups undergoing their Duke of Edinburgh award, one gold and one bronze, and the youngsters are looking at graffiti removal as a way of completing their community service section.

Tasks they can undertake will vary from helping to clear graffiti to developing a strategy looking at why some areas become hotspots for this type of vandalism.

Amey funds a Duke of Edinburgh award scheme development worker in Birmingham who works with community youth centres including Free@last to assist leaders to help young people embark upon the award.

John Sunderland, Amey Business Director, said: “The new graffiti buster means that cleaning up graffiti on the streets of Birmingham is easier and safer than before. We are delighted to be able to offer an opportunity for these youngsters who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards to complete the community service section with us. I'm sure their input will prove invaluable.”

Councillor Ward said: “It was an enlightening experience to see the kind of equipment we have at our disposal to keep our city looking its very best.

“It was also a pleasure to meet the young people who are taking on the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh awards and I wish them all the very best for their continued endeavours.”

Pictures from the event are available from the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.

Ends

Notes to Editors

•    In 2010, Amey won the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service contract to manage and maintain the city's roads over the next 25 years. The contract will see a huge investment into the city's road network and Amey is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver the contract. The works include refurbishment and improvement of the city's roads, footways, bridges, tunnels, street lighting and traffic control systems.  Across the city, this includes 2,500km of road network, 100,000 street lights, 76,000 trees, 850 highway structures and bridges.

•    Amey is a Gold Partner of the charity The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and asks all of its apprentices to take on the award, as well as giving all of its young employees the same opportunity, as part of the company's commitment to learning and development. The Duke of Edinburgh award is a unique tool for personal development which can enhance young people's skills in order to help them succeed in the workplace.

•    Amey is a leading UK infrastructure services provider with more than 11,000 staff. The company works across three main markets – Inter Urban, Local Government and Built Environment, which are supported by our award-winning consultancy division. Amey delivers services in the highways, roads, schools, waste, rail, fleet solutions, workspace, street lighting, commercial, housing and aviation sectors. By offering a complete life-cycle solution for services, we maximise efficiencies for our customers.

•    Amey 'won' the Lord Mayor's time for half a day when the company successfully bid for her in a Bob a Job auction in aid of her official charities earlier this year.

For more information, contact Kara Bradley on 0121 200 5002 or email kara.bradley@amey.co.uk

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