FAREHAM is looking at unleashing a new weapon in the war on chewing gum on the pavement.
The council is in talks with Gumpak, a Fareham firm, which has created a new system for removing the sticky substance from the streets.
Although the High Street-based company only launched the system in September, they have already sold it to more than 20 countries across Europe, as well as Australia and New York, Miami and Denver in America.
And Fareham Borough Council leader, Cllr Sean Woodward is looking at bringing the invention home to work in the borough’s streets after strapping on one of the firm’s packs and trying it for himself in the town’s West Street precinct.
He said: ‘We’ve spent literally millions of pounds on this street and then some people come along and ruin it by doing things like this.
‘I would like to see Fareham as a gum-free zone.
‘It’s something that makes the area look not very pretty. If you look around, it’s everywhere on our streets.
‘There are thousands of pieces of gum dropped on our high streets.
‘We do spend a lot of money already each year on a gum cleaning system, but from what I have seen, this is much better. I am impressed.’
The council hires a contractor to carry out its street cleaning, and will have to look at budgets to see if it can afford the system, which costs £2,195 for each pack.
Jared Brading, managing director of Gumpak, said: ‘We’ve created an instant flash boiler that vaporises the chemical that destroys the gum. Gum removal has traditionally been a specialist area of cleaning.
‘We used to do it, but we were getting fed up and frustrated with having to shut down a section of street every time we wanted to do it because of health and safety.
‘But with this new system, a guy can just walk down the street with it on and carry on doing his job.’
Cllr Woodward added: ‘The beauty of this system is that we can use this in the daytime without having to close streets and causing disruption.
‘And people will be able to see it in action, so maybe some of the gum chewers will see it and think twice about spitting it onto the pavement.’