MORE people in Worcester believe litter is a problem in the city - and 1 in 2 of us are desperately worried about congestion.

A new survey has been published by Worcester City Council which gets to the heart of what matters to its residents, revealing:

- 38 per cent of people say rubbish and litter is a problem for the city, up from 29 per cent on the previous year

- Only 20 per cent of residents believe they can shape decision making in the city, a staggering decline from the previous rate of 40 per cent

- Satisfaction with Worcestershire Regulatory Services, which deals with vital issues like noisy neighbours, dodgy market sellers and even rats, has dropped 12 per cent to 36 per cent

- In the good news, people now say drug dealing and drunks are less of a problem, and 70 per cent say they are well informed on where their council tax is going, up from 64 per cent

- For the fourth year running traffic congestion is people's biggest concern in Worcester, cited by 1 in 2 of us as the issue which needs "improving the most" followed by road repairs, public transport and job prospects

Every year a massive poll is done in June and November, known as the Viewpoint Survey, in conjunction with the county council, fire service, police and NHS.

The new published results are from November last year, when 914 households were sent taxpayer-funded questionnaires.

The findings come just as Worcester City Council's new Conservative leadership decided to reverse cuts of £80,000 to street sweeping, emptying bins and litter picks.

It also follows some pictures, which featured in your Worcester News last week, showing bins overflowing in Little Southfield Street, Arboretum, which was captured after 11am on a weekday morning.

The council says it hopes reversing the cuts will make a difference to the next set of survey results, which will be published in the autumn.

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: "The sort of thing people get really bothered about is litter.

"Looking at this survey they are less satisfied with the way the council runs things and less satisfied with areas like refuse collections and rubbish - these things are tremendously important.

"We've got to engage with people and let them know we are on their side."

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader, said: "We will certainly be doing another one of these again because the feedback is really important."

Congestion was cited as people's main concern as Worcestershire County Council slashes £1.6 million from buses, including a decision to close park and rides at Perdiswell and Sixways from September.

The authority insists it will still stick by its plan to focus on better highways rather than public transport, including part-dualling the A4440 Southern Link Road by 2019.

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