Moray is ranked rock bottom for keeping streets clean

Richard Lochhead - more needs to be done.
Richard Lochhead – more needs to be done.

MORAY IS BOTTOM of the Scottish league table in terms of keeping its streets clear of litter – but at least one councillor remains defiant.

It has been revealed that Moray Council invested less than half the national average on street cleaning in 2014/15 – leaving the region firmly at the bottom in terms of a litter-free environment.

The reason is that cost-saving measures taken by the local authority has seen investment fall from over £13,000 per 1000 residents to just £6850 per 1000 – well below the Scottish average of £15,000.

Moray Council’s Audit and Performance Review Committee will this week discuss the figures, produced by the Local Government Benchmarking Framework.

They will welcome the fact that 89% of Moray residents are satisfied with their refuse collection arrangements – however, with just 67% happy with the cleanliness of their streets, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead is demanding action.

He said: “Moray is a beautiful part of Scotland and we all have a duty to keep it clean and prevent litter. Thankfully, many people give up their time to do this – but the council must also recognise that more needs to be done.

“There are litter hotspots that need dealt with, particularly on local roads – it is important that tackling litter is made a priority both in the interests of tourism and community morale.”

Forres councillor George Alexander has defended the Council position, saying that the financial climate they have faced in the last four years meant they could not afford the same level of investment in services.

He said: “Over the past four years we have had to knock £24million off our revenue budget – we can’t do that without some things suffering.”

Cllr Alexander highlighted the “brigade” of volunteers who have been turning out over the last few days in his Forres ward ahead of the arrival by ‘Beautiful Scotland’ judges this week.

He added: “There is more hope of keeping the streets clean that way than there is of the council being able to fund it.”

The tables put before councillors this week can be studied online.