By Martin Goss, Colchester councillor responsible for waste, environment and transportation 

Jonathan Reubin raises some interesting issues which affect the east side of Colchester town (Gazette, November 15, Page 24) centre which I’m pleased to say are very much on the agenda for Colchester Council.

The council is working hard with all stakeholders including Essex County Council and Essex Police along with the many other agencies to deal with these issues.

First off is our investment of £300,000 into policing and crime prevention thorough our Colchester Town Centre Action Plan.

Launched in partnership with Essex Police to crackdown on antisocial behaviour and crime in the town centre - figures out soon from the first three months of operations show a huge increase in weekly patrols with increased activity in known hotspots and enforcement against individuals.

What makes action plan unique is its weekly meetings of partner agencies to discuss cases of individuals or groups involved in criminal activity or anti-social behaviour in the town. Partners can track and share harmful or concerning activity and details of any particular “hotspot locations” so that, where necessary, action can be taken to increase support for vulnerable individuals such as rough sleepers.

The state of pavements can’t be ignored and, having raised this with Essex County Council, we are waiting a formal price from Essex Highways to completely re-grout and repair the High Street paving.

However, to give readers an idea of the verbal price I’ve been given, it’s around £200,000.

Although I expect Essex County Council simply doesn’t have the funds due to central government cuts, we are of course aggressively pursuing this with them, along with all other road and pavement matters.

We are also pursuing all building owners in the town who don’t appear to take responsibility for the state of their properties.

Action has been taken against the owners of the Odeon building and Jumbo where they will be legally forced to undertake repairs; including the Byron Burger shop unit which also has to be repaired.

We’re getting some great feedback from residents in the town centre to say how much cleaner the area is looking and we are committed to maintaining that high standard.

There has been significant investment in new frontline staff and equipment and I have plans to boost this further.

Of course, people need to take responsibility for their part in keeping the town tidy and we will soon be installing more bins including 14 sets of new recycling bins in the town centre to make it easier for everyone.

I’m afraid those who choose to drop their litter in the street will increasingly face the consequences.

Our external enforcement agency, alongside our zone wardens, will continue to take action through fines to reinforce the message that this antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.

With specific regard to Priory Walk, we continue to encourage Mr Reubin to get the Priory Walk pavements deep cleaned and also replace all rusty litter bins.

It’s an area of the town we get many complaints about, so it’s time Mr Reubin stepped up and got these matters resolved as they are letting down the other areas of the town where investment is clearly going in.

It’s a team game so I am looking forward to Priory Walk stepping up and joining us.