TIDYING up the streets has been put at the top of a new four-year work programme by Barrow Borough Council.

A sub-committee scrutinising services plans to closely monitor the issue following concerns about littered streets.

A report said the council plans to ensure a ‘higher standard of street cleanliness’ and to better manage issues contributing to the problem, such as seagulls raiding bins and fly-tippers dumping rubbish.

The council outsourced its refuse, recycling and street cleansing role to national waste management contractors FCC Environment in March 2017.

But the issue of litter and poor recycling rates has continued to dog the borough.

The problem will now be examined by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee – a cross-party panel of councillors running the rule over the quality of services provided to residents.

It plans to ‘review’ the council’s arrangements with FCC Environment to help deliver a ‘higher standard of street cleanliness’.

Latest council figures from Jan-Mar 2019, show that 65 per cent of fly-tipping complaints across the borough were cleared by FCC within a working day.

This compared to just 27 per cent being cleared within a working day during Apr-Dec 2018.

Clearing fly tipping within a day is a stipulation in the council’s contract with FCC Environment, which uses the Bennett Bank landfill site.

Statistics show that getting waste containers, such as bins and boxes, out to residents within a target of a week, rose to 86 per cent between Jan-Mar 2019.

It is double that of the rate notched up between Oct-Dec.

Between Apr 2018 and Mar 2019, more than 320 cases of fly-tipping were reported across the borough.

It resulted in eight fixed penalty notices being issued to offenders. A total of 50 abandoned vehicles were also reported.

A number of residents across the borough require additional help to take their waste away because they cannot leave it out for collection.

But this has led to some containers – bins and boxes – being left behind by contractors, despite the council regarding it as a ‘critical’ service for those residents unable to put their bins out on collection day.

However, the rate of ‘missed’ collections for such households also improved considerably during April 2018-March 2019, falling well below one percent.

The overview and scrutiny committee is chaired by Cllr Martin McLeavy.