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Litter fears for Keighley streets with ‘cleansing’ cuts
9:10am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
Litter could build up on Keighley streets as a result of cuts to cleansing crews, Bradford Council bosses fear.
They are anticipating an increase in complaints and reports of rubbish as the reduction in staff begins to bite.
They have also warned potential further cuts next year would put even more pressure on the already-stretched service.
The situation has been blasted by Worth Valley councillor Glen Miller, who claimed the cuts were disproportionately affecting rural areas.
The potential impact of changes to the council’s street cleansing team were highlighted in a report to Keighley Area Committee last week.
The report from Bradford Council’s environment department updated members on the running of street cleansing services, which are now the responsibility of the area committee.
The report stated efficiency savings had meant a reduction in working hours in the road and pavement sweeping operation.
Instead of a 12-hour service seven days a week, the crews now only operate from 6am to 3pm on weekdays, with a skeleton crew at weekends.
This year’s street cleansing budgets are £224,600 for Keighley Central ward, £143,150 for Keighley East, £125,125 each for Keighley West and Worth Valley and £111,550 for Craven.
The report said it was too early to measure the impact of the reduced service on road sweeping.
But it warned: “The reduction will have implications for the cleanliness of Keighley in terms of litter and detractors, which could impact on the levels of reports and complaints to the council.
“Changing the way we work and improving efficiency with the remaining resource will be crucial if we are to maintain current service levels.”
Coun Miller, leader of the Conservative opposition on Bradford Council, said the focus should be on delivering a good service, rather than blaming the situation on cuts.
He said: “If services are managed correctly, the vehicles shouldn’t have to be off the road broken, or not able to be manned.”
Coun Miller said rural wards, such as his own, are suffering, while more money was being spent keeping town and city centres clean.
Coun Khadim Hussain said the extra money given to his Keighley Central ward covered the costs of cleaning the town centre.
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