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Council vows crackdown on rubbish bags blight in Worcester
A CRACKDOWN is finally set to be launched on unsightly bags of rubbish dumped in Worcester's streets after years of gripes.
Councillors say the city's image is being tarnished by too many shops leaving black bags outside around 6pm each evening for seagulls or revellers to rip open.
Now the new-look Conservative leadership says it wants a quick fix - insisting the problem "is not a pleasant site" for people trying to access Worcester's popular evening amenities like the restaurants, pubs and theatre.
It insists it will look afresh at the council's city centre policies with a view to ridding bags from being outside premises all night for good.
Your Worcester News can reveal how such a move would prove popular with the city's Business Improvement District (BID), which represents many retailers and believes the policy is realistic. Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader, says he aims to focus the new administration's city centre policies around tackling it.
It follows fierce criticism from Labour Councillor Simon Cronin, who led a review into the city centre last year and claims too many shops are not making an effort.
Cllr Cronin, speaking during a council meeting, said: "Most of us here tonight will have seen three bags of rubbish directly outside a shoe shop by the Guildhall.
"There are 14 bags outside another shop in Pump Street plus many, many more around the city.
"We need to make stopping rubbish bags being outside shops all night a priority."
Cllr Geraghty has agreed to focus on it swiftly, saying the city centre has a lot to gain from a clean-up.
"When you get those bags ripped open by seagulls it isn't a pleasant site," he said.
"Especially for people who are coming into the city centre of an evening.
"It's something we are keen to move on with at apace."
There are currently around eight organisations providing trade waste services in Worcester, with one being the city council while the rest are private.
Many traders leave their bags out at closing time because the collections tend to take place very early the next morning, often around 5.30am.
Worcester BID says one solution could be for the council to instruct all providers to change the time slots.
Adrian Field, from Worcester BID, said: "What other towns and cities often do is control the suppliers, so they say 'this is the wish of the city council', and agree different times.
"I've seen bags out at 5.30pm and it can be there until 8.50am the next morning - on a boiling hot day that can cause issues, and it's not good aesthetically either.
"We're very keen to support some talks over this because it's not ideal for the evening economy."