Leader: ‘Edinburgh getting dirtier is no surprise’

Rubbish on St Bernard's Row, Edinburgh.

Rubbish on St Bernard's Row, Edinburgh.

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the news that Edinburgh’s streets have been getting dirtier over the past 18 months is unlikely to surprise many today.

We have of course repeatedly highlighted the fact through our Bin Watch campaign while reports of tourists picking up litter on the Royal Mile have been an embarrassment to the city.

The recent intervention of ex-Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost where he said he would remember Edinburgh as much for its “filthy streets” and “overflowing bins” as its amazing scenery merely reinforced the point.

And so today we have official confirmation from the Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign.

Their most recent litter survey found 92 per cent of city streets passed the cleanliness test in September – compared with 98 per cent of streets in March last year.

Even those figures will seem incredibly generous to most city residents.

Leith Walk again retains the unwanted title of dirtiest area of the Capital.

Six streets, meanwhile, were given the lowest D grade – “heavily littered” - ranking.

Now, surveys such as these are only ever snapshots, and depending on the time and day of the week, some areas may well be unfairly singled out.

The overall picture it paints, however, is all too familiar.

We’re pleased to see progress being made in clearing up Edinburgh and very much hope that by the time of the next survey we will have more positive figures to report.

As Mr Frost pointed out, now more than ever, we must get these basics right as we face a greater challenge to sell the city to tourists and investors on the post-Brexit world stage.

Edinburgh remains the best city in the world at many things.

As today’s report demonstrates, clearing up after itself is still not one of them.