District council criticised for dirty streets

A NEW survey claims North Herts has some of Britain’s dirtiest streets.

The findings, published by the GMB Union, rate 44 per cent of roads and paths in the district as being “unacceptably dirty”, making North Herts the third worst district in the country. Six per cent of streets in the area are said to have an “objectionable level of litter”.

North Herts District Council has branded the results an “insult” to residents, and says the survey is misleading.

Council leader Lynda Needham said: “The council constantly monitors the levels of local litter and detritus against national performance and has an efficient programme of cleansing.

“The GMB has misused data out of context to come up with some very out-of-date figures that I completely reject. They have assessed us entirely on detritus rather than litter, which is an issue of far greater importance to local people.

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“North Herts is largely rural and we have 560 miles of country roads to clean, presenting very different issues to compact town centres. It is hardly surprising that leaves and soil are more of an issue for us with a large number of open spaces and trees.

“As far as litter is concerned, the GMB gives us credit for having problems in only six per cent of our streets which compares very favourably with the national average.”

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Cllr Needham added: “They are basing their report on outdated figures at a time when changes were being made to the service.

Stevenage Borough Council and the former Mid Beds District Council (now part of Central Beds) fared much better in the league table. In Stevenage, eight per cent of roads had an unacceptable level of detritus, with four per cent featuring an unacceptable amount of litter.

In Mid Beds, four per cent of roads were found to be unacceptable, with three per cent containing too much litter.

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