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Parks in Harrow which might delight “Bear Grylls but no one else” will be tidied up as part of a £500,000 cleaning blitz in the borough.

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The previous ‘wilderness parks’ approach will be overturned, with £100,000 being spent on improved maintenance of parks, and parks will also benefit from a £60,000 rapid response team clean-up team.

Harrow Council, which says the measures will come into force in the next few weeks, will also spend £80,000 on a five-person blitz team and dedicated street cleansing team to tackle litter hot spots, environmental eyesores and support volunteer intiatives, and there will also be a recycling team to help support businesses and individuals.

Cllr Susan Hall, leader of Harrow Council and cabinet member for the environment, said: “It is no secret that local people are fed up with litter-strewn streets, unsightly eyesore areas and parks so overgrown they might be a delight to Bear Grylls but no one else.

“It is time to clean up the borough and return it to being a clean and safer place to live.”

The council will also spend £50,000 to support the Neighbourhood Champions scheme, a project set up in 2009 with the goal of having a champion for every street in Harrow – 2,068 in total. There are currently just under 1,000 champions, who report litter, graffiti, potholes and low-level crime back to the council or the police.

Cllr Hall said: “People in Harrow will start to see the difference in streets and open spaces over the next few weeks. We are going to put the pride back into our status as one of the greenest boroughs in London.”

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