Staff in the Environmental Services department of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Borough Council are at the forefront of delivering our essential services, from emptying bins to maintaining our wonderful parks and cleaning the streets.
And over the last 12 months a new team within Environmental Services have been making a very positive and a very noticeable impact on public spaces across the Borough.
The Blitz Squad was set up in October 2022, with the purpose of tackling areas which have fallen victim to littering, fly-tipping and general neglect.
Whether, it’s along road verges in Banbridge, cul-de-sacs in Craigavon or pedestrian walkways in Armagh, the transformational work of the Blitz Squad has been well received by the local community who have expressed their praise and thanks to several local councillors.
At present, there are three members of the Blitz Squad who work across the Borough. As well as clearing rubbish and litter, the Squad also use power hoses to bring back a shine to these neglected public spaces, and in the process, bring back a sense of pride to the area.
Their work in Tandragee, Keady and at the tunnel on the Killylea Road in Armagh, are just some of the areas, where they have made a significant impact.
The Blitz Squad were also deployed to great effect in Dromore, ahead of the hugely successful World Sheepdog Trials and the visit of HRH Princess Anne in September.
With the success of the team’s work across the Borough quickly spreading, demand for their services has also grown and it is hoped that the team will continue to grow and develop in the months ahead.
Donna O’Connor, who is a member of the Blitz Squad alongside Lee Finlay and Rauri Toman, said the team take great pride in their work and have been delighted with the public response.
“It is very rewarding. I get a sense of pride, particularly in bad areas that are strewn with litter, after I get it cleared up and I look behind and see that it’s looking really well. It’s nice to see grass areas without any litter, that is really satisfying for me,” said Donna.
“The feedback has been very positive… the public do approach and they say it’s great to see feet on the ground in their areas. They are very welcoming.”