Birmingham shed its image as England’s second city today, 13th March, after stealing the crown of Cleanest Place in Britain from the City of London.
At the Clean Britain Awards ceremony today, run by the British Cleaning Council (BCC), Birmingham won the City category as well as the claiming the coveted prize of Overall Winner.
The finale, open to all of the UK, saw Ipswich earn the title of Cleanest Town and Mendip Cleanest District. Special Chairman’s Awards went to Cardiff for Commitment to the Environment and to Truro for best Tourist’s Eye View.
Judith West, Chairman of the BCC said: “Birmingham fought off some tough contenders to prove that it is the rightful owner of the cleanest crown in the UK’s most prestigious street cleanliness competition. Winning such an award will boost the profile of Birmingham, Ipswich and Mendip as well silencing those who criticise the state of Britain.”
Each winner did something to grab the judges’ attention. Birmingham treats its city centre as Visitor Priority Area with a special focus on shopping areas, transport hubs and leisure facilities. It has city wardens monitoring any anti-social activity within the city centre. Ipswich and Mendip both operate partnership working schemes to tackle environmental problems such as graffiti and fly-tipping.
Paul Pearce, Clean Britain Judge said: “Birmingham city centre is a shining example to the rest of the UK on exactly how to keep the streets sparkling. Our judges were highly impressed with their findings. We mustn’t forget Cardiff and Truro which also caught the eye of the judges. All our winners are a tribute to those behind the streets in the front line toiling to keep the UK tidy.”
Finalists this year in each category were – Cities: Birmingham, Cardiff, City of London, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Truro, Westminster and York; Towns: Ipswich and Lewisham; Districts: Braintree, Chester, Durham, Mendip, Oadby & Wigston
The competition was re-launched last year as the Clean Britain Awards, formerly Britain’s Cleanest City, to allow towns and districts to enter as well as cities. Judges, with their vast cleaning industry experience, use government approved standards to judge each destination as well as viewing the streets through the eyes of a tourist.
Continued Judith: “Congratulations to the councils and the people of the winning locations who supported their city, town or district and who recognise the importance of using the bin.”