Litter not crime is town’s big concern

050254b b13 13/1 ns'Wheelie bins--Wide Option
050254b b13 13/1 ns'Wheelie bins--Wide Option

A survey has shown that people in Scarborough are more concerned about littering than crime and anti-social behaviour close to their homes.

The residents survey, carried out by Scarborough Council, also puts littering ahead of drunkenness, vandalism and drug taking in the things which people feel is the biggest issue within communities.

The Local Area Survey is used to highlight areas of concern and to set priorities for the council.

Results from 2013/13 shows that the state of Scarborough’s streets in the biggest issue according to the local population.

Just 59.5 per cent of people said they were satisfied with the street cleansing service that was being offered.

This is in comparison with 81 per cent of people who are happy with their domestic refuse collections.

Other trends show a steep decline in the levels of satisfaction with leisure facilities, public toilets and museums and galleries.

In total 1,520 responses were received to the survey, which is in excess of the volume of responses required to provide statistically accurate results.

Petra Jackson, the council’s senior performance and governance officer, who collated the data, stated that: “Perceptions of crime show that overall there has been a slight reduction in people feeling safe during the day, but that this remains high at 93 per cent.

“There has been an increase in the numbers of people feeling safe at night.

“Overall, the long term trends show improvement in people feeling safer in the Borough generally since 2008/09.

“The perception of anti-social behaviour being a big problem has improved over the last 5 surveys. Overall, only 12.7 per cent of people perceive anti-social behaviour to be a very/fairly big problem in their local area.

“The biggest area of concern is rubbish or litter lying around at 34.4 per cent.”

Street cleansing in general was one of the most troubling issues for the council, with public happiness plummeting over the last four years.

Overall satisfaction with street cleansing has declined from 70 per cent in 2010/11 to 59.5 per cent in the last 12 months.

Street cleansing was also identified as a top five priority by respondents, and as an area which most needs improvement.

Cllr Bill Chatt, cabinet member for Public Health and Housing, said that the council would be meeting to discuss how to tackle litter issues.

He added: “We have teams going out every morning sweeping the streets but Scarborough is a busy place we get a lot of visitors, which invariably does lead to bins filling up, especially around chip shops.

“I would say to people that if one bin is full that there are others, don’t just dump it on top or throw it on the floor.

“Treat Scarborough like it is your own house, you wouldn’t just throw litter on your own floor, you’d put it in the bin.

“Litter is one of my big concerns but everyone needs to do their part.”