An 80% cut in North Westminster street cleaning – that’s rubbish!

North of the borough to face a life of grime while the West End will sparkle

Weekend street cleaning in some parts of north Westminster is to be slashed by more than 80 per cent as the council aims to cut costs.

Maida Vale, Little Venice, Harrow Road, Queens Park and Westbourne will see a reduction from 18 street sweeping rounds on Saturdays to just three, with a similar reduction from 16 rounds to three on Sundays.

The cuts in north Westminster are far higher than the rest of the borough as the council says it will focus the majority of sweepers on the West End.

Maida Hill resident Jacqui Haynes said: “It doesn’t surprise me because our streets are already full of rubbish around here. Our children will get used to playing around rubbish and there’s nothing we can do about it.

“Maybe we should just pick it all up and dump it on the doorsteps of the people who make these decisions.”

With the council looking to cut almost �4million, it will also reduce overall evening sweeping by 23 per cent and weekday sweeping by 12 per cent.

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Litter bin emptying staff around Marylebone will be cut from 10 to three while 46 temporary staff will no longer be employed during peak times of high leaf fall and increased summer litter levels.

Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society chairman Anne von Bennigsen said: “I don’t see why the north should be cut back any more than the south. Little Venice is a tourist area so they shouldn’t be removing anyone from there.

“There are two times of year when it’s not advisable to cut back – around now when the lime sap falls onto the pavements, which become very slippery for elderly people, and in the autumn when the leaves fall.”

Westminster North MP Karen Buck said: “People in the north of the borough will find a significant worsening of their street cleaning service.

“That is bad enough. But to add insult to injury they will suffer disproportionately to the rest of the city. I don’t think it’s very fair.”

Westminster’s city management boss Cllr Ed Argar says a focus has been put on retaining existing staff. Residential waste and recycling services will not be affected.

“In tough financial times, we have to make difficult choices. But, by making these changes to our cleansing service, we have managed to ensure the reduction to the number of street sweepers will be kept as low as possible,” he said.