East Devon has the Dirtiest Streets

East Devon has the dirtiest streets in the South West.

That is according to a survey by the GMB union which reckons 22% have more detritus - so dirt, leaves and bits of glass - than acceptable - above the national average of 12%.

It also claimed 5% had more litter than was acceptable - the same as the national average.

Speaking at a recent conference Paul Kenny, GMB 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% 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. GMB know 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." 

Heart approached East Devon District Council for a response, in a statement it said:

"Since these figures are based on returns provided by each council following a self-assessment, they are not necessarily consistent โ€“ as some councils may be more self-critical than others. The reliability of the figures also depends on which street is chosen and on what day of the week โ€“ even what time of day.

The figures quoted are from 2008/09 and since then EDDC has improved its performance in both areas, with litter at 4% in 2009/10 (on target) and detritus down to 18% (against a target of 20%).

The figures are also not supported by the public perception of street cleanliness in East Devon. Last yearโ€™s Place Survey (sample size 1,263) found that East Devon was considered higher than average for keeping public land clear of litter and refuse, with 65.3% of those asked being very or fairly satisfied. This compares extremely favourably with the result for the South West region, at 58.1%."