LITTER on Bolton’s streets is on the up new figures show — now businesses and residents are being urged to do their bit to clean up the borough.
The cleanliness “pass rates” for the town’s streets have slipped from 94 per cent in 2010 to 90 per cent for the past four years.
The drop has coincided with Bolton Council’s decision to reduce the amount of street sweepers operating in the borough following cuts to the authority’s budget.
The council’s “Clean and Green” report said the drop in standards comes as a “direct result of their being fewer people, vehicles and sweepers in operation”.
Cabinet member for environmental services Cllr Nick Peel said: “We are obviously aware that the standards have dropped. We were forced to make £100 million in cuts by the government and some of these cuts take years to have an effect, but this is something that people can see straight away.”
“The fact that, in the face of these cuts, the standards have only dropped four per cent shows that the operatives we do have are doing a tremendous job.”
Cllr Peel said that one method of improving the state of Bolton’s streets was to encourage residents to pick up some litter near to their houses.
He said: “It is not that long ago that it was the norm for people to sweep and pick up litter just outside their homes — I’m not suggesting that they have dropped that habit, but it is a civic pride thing.”
Cllr John Walsh said he agreed that people could do more to keep the streets clean and said the onus could be put on business owners as well.
He added: “I think we are getting more problems with hot food takeaways and what we have never done as an authority is enforce shopkeepers to do more to clean up their vicinity.
“Perhaps on planning grounds we could enforce them to provide litter bins a short distance from their shops.
“In general I think if we all adopted a sense of pride in Bolton and kept the areas outside our homes and businesses clean then Bolton would look a lot better.”
Bolton’s Green party leader Alan Johnson said the decline in street cleaniliness was “very noticeable”.
He added: “We are aware the council have had to make cuts but there are other areas they could cut instead of street cleaners, my priority would be to cut at the top of the council.”