Traders steaming after cleaning fiasco

SHOPKEEPERS in Felixstowe were left steaming today, after a cleaning company blasted dirt from the pavements - on to their windows.During the evening a firm hired by Suffolk Coastal council steam cleaned the pavements in Hamilton Road to get rid of the chewing gum.

SHOPKEEPERS in Felixstowe were left steaming today, after a cleaning company blasted dirt from the pavements - on to their windows.

During the evening a firm hired by Suffolk Coastal council steam cleaned the pavements in Hamilton Road to get rid of the chewing gum.

But although the pavements were left spotless, traders claimed the work had simply transferred the dirt to the windows, left a hole in the pavement where a piece of tarmac had caved in, and broken a grill used to keep rats off the streets.

Last night the company was ordered to clean up its act by Suffolk Coastal council, after the shopkeepers got the Evening Star on the case.


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But shopkeepers were still unhappy this morning as although Colchester Gum Removal Ltd claimed they came back to clean up last night, the windows were still dirty this morning.

More than five shopkeepers were greeted with filthy windows when they went to work yesterday morning.

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John Kelly, of Phoenix Fruiterers, was especially enraged as when he opened his security shutter he saw half of his floor was flooded with water and black mud, some of which had dried up.

He said: "I'm furious, I spent an hour and a half before I even started work. It is ridiculous when we pay the council all this money. I don't know whether they rushed it – but the place really needs doing again."

Joe Crowley, the owner of Joe Crowley's ice cream shop and café, said a piece of tarmac outside his shop had caved in due to the pressure of the water jet.

He said the dip was dangerous as a customer could trip on it.

"For a clean up job - it is worse than what it was," he said.

"You can't do a thing at night cleaning in the dark. They work against the shops not on the road, they haven't steamed it up properly.

"If it's a one off, then fine. But who's going to pay for all the windows?

"It's like some one has sprayed it on."

Mr Crowley said the drains had been blocked from the mud sprayed off the pavement and that a section of a grill covering a pipe had been blasted away from the wall between his shop and Mr Kelly's shop.

Karen Faouzi, manager of Fred Olsen Travel, said it took her and colleagues half an hour to wipe down the boards under the windows.

She was especially annoyed as they had paid a window cleaner to wash the windows on Monday, but that yesterday they were covered with a film of dirt from top to bottom, making the shop look less appealing to customers.

A spokesperson from Suffolk Coastal yesterday said: "The council have contacted the contractors and they will be going back to resolve the problem."

John Booth, managing director of Colchester Gum Removal Ltd, said the cleaners went back to the Hamilton Road last night to clean up.

"We have to do the job at night because of the cleaning. They do wash the windows, we try our best to leave the area clean the next morning.

"Some times they miss cleaning the windows, it is not intentional."

He said his company had cleaned the pavements on Hamilton Road from the roundabout near the Orwell hotel and up to Tesco.

Mr Booth defended his company and said they were not 'cowboys' because they are employed to clean places like Trafalgar Square in London.

He said he would visit Felixstowe today to check what had been cleaned and to resolve the matter.

He added that in the future such problems should not happen because they were testing a new dry cleaning system, which minimises the mess left behind.

Weblink: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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