Nation's streets are 'dangerously dirty' - Home News - UK - The Independent

Nation's streets are 'dangerously dirty'

A union has uncovered what it describes as "alarmingly high and dangerous" levels of dirt on Britain's streets and pavements.

More than one in 10 streets around the country suffer from "unacceptable levels" of dirt and refuse strewn about the surfaces, the GMB union has warned.

In the worst affected areas the level of filth rises so high that a fifth of the streets and pavements assessed by researchers were found to have unacceptable quantities of litter and other waste, while half were found to be dirty.

The study also concluded that the dirtiest and the cleanest streets in England are both found in London. Merton in south-west London was named as having the most dirty streets, while those in Kensington and Chelsea were the cleanest.

Officials from the union found that the level of cleanliness of the streets was largely in proportion to the amount of money councils were prepared to spend on keeping them clear of litter and other debris.

After Merton, Hounslow and North Hertfordshire were found to be the worst, with 44 per cent of land and highways assessed as dirty, while around 15 per cent of the streets in Hounslow and 6 per cent of those in North Hertfordshire had unacceptable of levels of litter.

Paul Kenny, the GMB's general secretary, said: "There is an alarmingly high and dangerous level of dirty streets and pavements in far too many places.

"On average the 12 per cent of streets that are officially classified as unacceptable is bad enough, but there are 129 councils in England that have a higher proportion than that, which is totally unacceptable.

"Local communities deserve clean and healthy environments. The GMB knows that clean streets are perfectly feasible everywhere; it's just a matter of ensuring there are enough properly trained and equipped street cleaners employed to do the job.

"Councillors should be clear that for street cleaning, as for other public services, you get what you pay for. The next thing that failed politicians may come out with is that people, as well as paying their council tax, should clean the streets themselves."

Over the 345 councils in England that were studied, 12 per cent of land and highways assessed had litter or other deposits that fell below an acceptable level.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Officer (HMP Brixton Mentoring Project)

£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...

Open Day for work in Education

£83 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you looking for work in Ed...

History Teacher

£110 - £160 per day + Mileage & Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Required i...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery Nurse jobs in South Glouc...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week