‘Clean up Hemel town centre or shoppers won’t visit’

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A pensioner says that Hemel Hempstead town centre’s unhygienic image is putting shoppers off visiting.

Ellen Reynolds, who lived in the town before moving to Berkhamsted, said: “It could do with is a jolly good wash down.”

The 75-year-old said the area from discount fashion retailer Primark in Marlowes to the bus station is strewn with cigarette butts and rubbish.

“That to me is the most appalling area,” she said.

“I choose not to go to Hemel Hempstead because it is so filthy.

“You won’t get visitors because it is too filthy.

“I have lived in Berkhamsted for 23 years and we seem to be able to maintain cleanliness here.”

She said public toilets at the bus station in Waterhouse Street emitted a stench that hit people in the face when they walked past.

“I can’t even pass the toilet area. The smell is appalling,” she said.

Dacorum Borough Council’s estates and cleaning team leader Steve Tarbox said: “The bus station toilets are heavily used and that is why we clean them at least three times a day. There is also an attendant on site Wednesday to Saturday as this is when the toilets are used the most.”

Operations manager for Clean, Safe and Green Simon Coultas added: “There is a road sweeper in the town every day between 8am and 11am and every day we have two members of staff litter picking and emptying bins.”

But council officials did admit that work needs to be done to improve the town centre and said plans are already under way as part of the Hemel Evolution Project. People can find out more about the scheme by visiting Bank Court on Sunday – turn to page 11 for the full details.