Merton Cleans Up Its Act

Street cleanliness is improving in the borough

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Merton - once declared the borough with the dirtiest streets in England - has seen an improvement in the cleanliness of its streets after council investment in its street cleaning service and improved monitoring.

Latest figures show the percentage of officially clean streets has improved from 64% this time last year to 88% this quarter. The percentage of streets clear of litter has also seen an improvement, rising from 86% this time last year to 94%.

Earlier this year, a GMB Union survey reported that 49% of the borough's land and highways looked at in 2008-9 had levels of detritus that took them below an acceptable level.

Despite the recent progress, the council acknowledges there is still much work to be done to improve cleanliness for residents.

Merton's team of litter enforcement officers has stepped up issuing fines to people dropping litter in the streets.

The council's community engagement officers have been out talking to people about the potential risk they run if they drop litter on the street. The council has also installed more of its dual litter bins encouraging people to not only bin their rubbish, but, where possible, to recycle it too.

Merton Council Cabinet Member for Performance and Implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge, said: "These are encouraging signs but we know, and residents know, that there is still much more work to be done. It is clear that many local people have been unhappy with the cleanliness of our local area. We are working hard to change this and remain focused on delivering real improvements so that residents can be proud of our streets and neighbourhoods."

September 3, 2010