Damning study rates Edinburgh’s streets filthiest in Scotland

Edinburgh's streets suffer worst from litter, dog fouling and fly tipping
Edinburgh's streets suffer worst from litter, dog fouling and fly tipping
Have your say

THE streets of Edinburgh are the dirtiest in Scotland, damning official figures reveal.

Inspectors discovered the Capital’s streets suffer more from litter, dog fouling, graffiti, fly-posting and fly-tipping than any of the other 31 Scottish council areas.

The city’s overall “cleanliness” score has declined since last year and is now lower than that of Glasgow, which was previously rated to have Scotland’s dirtiest streets.

The figures have been branded as “unacceptable” for a city so reliant on tourism.

Overall, Edinburgh scored 69 out of 100 for the cleanliness of its streets in 2010-11, according to the figures, which were collated by Keep Scotland Beautiful and published by public sector watchdog Audit Scotland.

Its score was one point less than in 2009-10 and two points less than in 2008-9. Glasgow scored 70.

Councillor Andrew Burns, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: “The SNP/Lib Dem council in Edinburgh are always keen to trumpet how much progress is apparently being made with street cleanliness. Well, this official data from Keep Scotland Beautiful, shows that Edinburgh is actually bottom of the cleanliness league in Scotland.

“For the capital city, which relies so heavily on tourism, to be in such a position is frankly unacceptable.”

The scores are worked out by combining the council’s own assessments of cleanliness with the judgement of inspectors from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The best-performing authorities were those in the least populous areas such as Moray, which scored 84.

Local residents say more needs to be done to keep city streets and parks clean.

Chris Wigglesworth, chairman of the advisory group set up by the city council for the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, said: “The impression I get is that litter is not collected as much as it used to be.

“The council has to think long term in important areas like the Meadows. I feel it needs a stronger lead from the politicians.”

Despite being lower than any other council area, Edinburgh did exceed the minimum Scotland-wide target of 67.

However, environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has urged residents to help councils by dropping less litter.

Carole Noble, its operations manager, said: “It is important [the figures] are not viewed solely as a measure of how successful the councils are at cleaning up our streets. Local environmental audit and management systems also highlight the amount of litter dropped and we call on people to help by using the many litter bins provided across the city.”

However, the council’s own monitoring of the 2011-12 performance indicates that the overall score for Edinburgh may improve when the next batch of figures are published.

Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, the city’s transport leader, said: “After several years of consistently improving scores we saw a slight decrease in our performance, largely due to the severe weather in February. That said, those figures still represent an improvement on the position four years earlier, under Labour.”