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Council’s new ‘Gladiator’ to save thousands of pounds in outsourcing

A huge £70,000 grant for specialised equipment to deep clean pavements will save Council hundreds of thousands of pounds in outsourcing services.

However, councillors must firstly agree on an initial outlay of £14,000 for the ‘MV700 Gladiator’ machine, if they are to accept the payout from the Department of Communities.

It’s unlikely to meet much resistance given the fact that the last time Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council outsourced street-cleaning work, it cost a staggering £77,000 for just one scrub of pavements in each of the four main urban centres.

A detailed report to go before councillors tonight (Tuesday) outlines how a regular maintenance programme to deep cleanse the public realm areas across the borough “will showcase the attractiveness and appeal of the area to residents, businesses, visitors and shoppers”.

The offer has certain general conditions, but in summary the Department has agreed to provide funding up to £70,000 and the Council must provide funding of £14,000.

The period of grant runs out on March 31, so the machine must be tendered, purchased and paid for before that date.

It is estimated that the running costs would equate to £3,500 per annum with two full-time employees costing £24.49 per hour.

Some £5.7 million was spent on the first phase of public realm works in Armagh City alone.

And similar schemes have taken place in other areas including PortadownBanbridge and Lurgan.

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