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Falkirk BID

Falkirk BID

Local Environmental Quality Audit

The challenge

Falkirk Delivers is a Business Improvement District (BID) which works with partners to deliver a range of projects to enhance the visitor experience to Falkirk town centre and covers four strategic themes: cleanliness, safety, marketing and tourism.

Following extensive research back in 2007, the business partners in ‘Falkirk Delivers’ determined that a top priority for their BID was “taking a pride in Falkirk”. This meant ensuring that the town centre was as clean and attractive as possible, creating a pleasant environment for residents, businesses and visitors to the town.

As part of this process the BID commissioned Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) to conduct a thorough inspection of the BID area with the aim of assessing cleanliness levels and environmental quality. This process has subsequently been repeated for the last 10 years with the most recent audit in July 2018.

Our approach

The yearly Local Environmental Quality (LEQ) audits provide a reliable and consistent method of validating the cleanliness and environmental quality of the BID area. For Falkirk Delivers, this involves the collection of quantitative and qualitative information on the overall cleanliness of various roads, via site surveys using the Cleanliness Index Monitoring system (CIMS). This is a systematic scoring system on street cleanliness which is carried out by taking a random section of streets or open public areas and recording the score of cleanliness in relation to the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2006. Each area surveyed is assessed for the following criteria:

  • Cleanliness grade
  • Sources of litter
  • Types of litter
  • Adverse Environmental Quality Indicators i.e. flyposting, vandalism, chewing gum, graffiti and flytipping
  • Overflowing litter bins

The results of the audits are then collated in a comprehensive report which identifies problem areas, likely causes and allows for an evaluation of the performance of street cleansing services. The survey reports also contain recommendations for improvements from KSB experts.

How we made a difference

The KSB LEQ audits provide a reliable and consistent method of evaluating street cleaning and environmental quality in the town. The reports generated are a tool for Falkirk Delivers and its partners to monitor the effectiveness of projects such as commercial waste management and gum littering by showing a realistic picture of the Falkirk town centre environment. This allows the BID to apply focus where needed, whilst maintaining what’s working well and enabling the BID to liaise with the local authority and business partners to develop a forward strategy, set targets for improvement and track the delivery of improvements. Examples of initiatives that have been developed as a result of the LEQ audits have included:

  • A gum litter reduction campaign
  • Rapid removal of graffiti and flyposting
  • Seasonal clean-ups, conducted by volunteers from town centre businesses and;
  • A BID-wide gutter cleaning project

As a result, Falkirk has consistently maintained or improved its levels of cleanliness, achieving a score in 2018 of 69 (two index points above the national standard of 67) compared with an initial score of 65 in 2009.

The yearly LEQ audits scoring makes up part of Falkirk Delivers joint working agreement with Falkirk Council and is a great tool to help leverage funds, manpower or other resources. We all want our communities to be safe, clean and friendly spaces which we can all enjoy and be proud of.

Alex Fleming, BID Manager

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