EDINBURGH’S streets are getting cleaner, according to a new survey, but they still fall short of the target for tackling litter.
Standards of cleanliness in some parts of the city are actually worse than last year.
The latest Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) litter league table gave the Capital an overall score of 71 out of a possible 100 – up from 70 a year ago and just one short of the target 72.
However, four wards fell below 67, the score set by KSB as representing “an acceptable level of street cleanliness”.
Ten of the city’s 17 wards showed a year-on-year improvement. But some places saw a dramatic fall in their rating, notably Craigentinny/Duddingston, whose score plummeted from 76 to 65, the joint lowest with Sighthill/Gorgie.
Steve Burgess, leader of the Green group on the city council, said: “Clearly the standard of cleanliness in some parts of the city is not acceptable. Now the privatisation of our environmental health services has been rejected, there is a challenge for the new administration to show they can improve things.”
He also called for a review of the way litter cleaning was currently carried out in wards with poor scores.
He said: “Some areas of the city are reasonably good and some are consistently bad. That needs to be tackled.
“They need to review what they are doing in those areas which are consistently failing. It may not necessarily be a case of more personnel but how and when they are being deployed.
“The city is very different. It tends to be high-density, busy areas that are failing and it may be we need a different approach in those areas.”
Gordon Henderson, of the Edinburgh branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s vital to the city that all areas are kept clean and attractive for residents and visitors.”
He said on the whole he believed the council was doing a good job on tackling litter.
The council said the fall in the score for Craigentinny/Duddingston was mainly due to a higher incidence of dog fouling in the latest assessment compared with the last one.
Environment convener Lesley Hinds said: “Keeping our streets clean and attractive is a priority for the new administration, and it is disappointing to see that some wards were still below standard at the time this report was written.
“Cleanliness is an ongoing issue which we need to keep on top of, but staff are working hard to monitor and address ongoing issues. In addition, £4 million is being invested in environmental services, and I am confident that these results will continue to improve.”
Keep Scotland Beautiful chief executive Derek Robertson said the challenge of reducing litter levels required “properly resourced cleansing services backed up by education and awareness campaigns and enforcement measures”, but it also needed public co-operation.