Cuts blamed for state of streets

SO UNSIGHTLY: Litter on the road.
SO UNSIGHTLY: Litter on the road.

SAVAGE cuts are spoiling the look of two once-tidy areas of Cumbernauld, it is claimed.

Fed-up members of Seafar and Ravenswood Community Council summoned key players from North Lanarkshire Council to their neighbourhood.

They then went walkabout with ground maintenance and litter control service staff – in their bid to draw urgent attention to the worst affected areas.

Members argued that council cuts have put paid to proper landscaping and that footpaths are left neglected.

And this is DESPITE the fact that a weekly clean-up of litter continues in this densely populated area surrounded by woods.

However, this would not seem to be achieving the desired effect as far as residents are concerned.

Vice-chairwoman Annie McFarlane said: “We were told that government cuts to public spending has resulted in a reduction of NLC budgets for all departments.

“This has lowered staffing levels and services in all areas.

She added: “We were surprised to learn that there are only nine pavement sweeping machines for the whole of North Lanarkshire.’’

However, the council insists that the situation is not quite the way that locals have described it, and that the service is more far-reaching than has been initally suggested.

Kenneth Wilson, head of land services for North Lanarkshire Council, said: “To clarify what may have been a misunderstanding between ourselves and the community council, while there have been significant budget reductions in recent years, we have maintained a strategy to try and avoid any major impact on front-line services.

“The introduction of seven-day working means there will be fewer vehicles but they will be in use every day; with grounds maintenance, street cleaning and litter removal continuing through weekends.

“The authority is committed to maintaining street cleanliness and this is seen in the major success we have had over the years with the Beautiful North Lanarkshire campaign.”

He added: “We will continue to work very closely with the Seafar and Ravenswood Community Council, for which a number of initiatives have been received positively by the group.”

Anyone who wants to report a problem regarding litter is asked to call Northline on 01689 403200.