COUNCILLORS met this week to discuss new initiatives to help keep the Winchester district clean.

Representatives from East Hampshire District Council and Winchester City Council attended the joint environmental services scrutiny committee meeting to hear updates on the management of street cleaning and public conveniences.

The meeting heard how cleaning schedules were not being completed as they should be, with many public toilets and bins remaining unclean and unemptied for weeks at a time in some cases.

The cleaning, which is contracted to separate companies, is under close observation by the two councils, who say that if there has not been an improvement by 2015 when the contract is due for renewal, careful consideration will be given to its redistribution.

Cllr Judy Onslow, of East Hampshire District Council, said that without the public’s help the councils can do no more to improve cleanliness across the district.

“There is actually still a public perception that the litter is the council's problem,” she said.

“It is the public that creates the litter. I do think that we need to ask the public to come with us. You pay your taxes and the amount of money it costs to pick up litter us absolutely ridiculous. We are on cut backs here.

“I do think we need to get the public to help look after their own villages and people are becoming a bit more community minded so it is possible.”

Members also discussed bin collections, street cleaning, public toilet cleaning and shrub maintenance.