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 – 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 – 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 year’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%."