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Walsall Council cutbacks to hit street cleaning

Walsall | News | Published:

Streets will be swept just once a month in Walsall under the latest council cutbacks revealed.

Council bosses have announced that instead of cleaning the main routes through the borough once a fortnight as is currently the case they will be looked at every four weeks.

As a result officials have warned that drains could become blocked and that street cleaning, including the removal of graffiti and litter picking ,will be cut back as part of moves to save £477,000 in 2015/16.

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There are fears the move could leave the area looking a mess but residents will be encouraged to take more 'responsibility' for the area they live in.

As part of the changes some 15 of the 58 'environmental operative' jobs will be lost at Walsall Council and the number of mechanical sweepers will be slashed from two to one.

The council says it can not even pay for cover when staff are off sick or on annual leave – so roads could be left for even longer during the summer.

Chiefs have also scrapped a 'gold standard' of cleanliness after admitting they will not be able to attain it from now on.

See also: Fun days, bonfires and events next to face the axe at Walsall in bid to save £360k.

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A report on the cuts states: "The saving may affect the overall appearance and perceived cleanliness of neighbourhoods and the level of pride in local communities. To counter this possibility the council will encourage local communities to take greater responsibility for the cleanliness of their respective neighbourhoods and support them in doing so where it can."

Bosses want to make savings of £29.2 million next year, with 487 jobs set to be axed between April 2015 and March 2017.

Blakenall Councillor Pete Smith said: "The streets will be full of extra waste anyway because of the bins being collected fortnightly. These are the worst cuts I've ever known."

See also: Voluntary groups could be used to run youth services in bid to cut costs.

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