TAUNTON is having a tidy up as pavements are deep cleaned, street graffiti is removed and more flowers are being planted around the town.

Somerset West and Taunton Council is undertaking the work, know as 'Cleansweep', in association with the Great British Clean Up.

The council says the work follows feedback from businesses, residents and shoppers who want the town centre to look and feel 'vibrant'.

Work has already begun to deep clean pavements, street furniture and bus shelters; paint and refurbish lampposts and bins; freshen up public toilets; remove graffiti, and provide more planters and hanging baskets throughout the town.

Riverside Walk has been deep cleaned and the path from Firepool Lock to Priory Bridge has been resurfaced to provide a pleasant walk from Trenchard Way through to the town centre.

Two of Taunton’s larger landmarks are also being refreshed - the heritage gates at the entrance to Vivary Park have been cleaned and painted, and the bridge over the River Tone will receive a thorough clean this week.

The clean up also involved members of the community - the Probation Service has used the Community Payback scheme to paint the flower pedestals outside the Market House; a community litter pick took place in Castle Green on Saturday organised in partnership with Keith Hunt the local Keep Britain Tidy Litter Hero Ambassador; and the wooden benches around Castle Green are due to be painted by Link Power, a social enterprise based in Halcon which offers opportunities for training and skills development.

The community elements of the work have been supported by a cash boost from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s High Street Clean Up Fund in support of the Great British Clean Up.

Portfolio holder for environmental services, Cllr Alan Wedderkopp, said: “The town centre is already looking much cleaner and brighter thanks to the efforts of Council staff and our wonderful volunteers. We should all take pride in our environment and I would encourage everyone to play a part.”

Any community groups or individuals who are keen to get involved with litter picks should contact the council which can help with rubbish collections and equipment.